Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Martin and Alice Provensen

I got a shout out from Mr. Jalopy over at the blog, Dinosaurs and Robots today. He had posted a blog about one of my favorite things in the world, Little Golden Books, and I emailed him and related how I came to be acquainted with Alice Provensen. While you might not know their names, you do know their illustration. Alice worked for Walter Lantz studio, creators of Woody Woodpecker and Chilly Willy, while Martin helped create such Disney classics as Dumbo and Pinoccio.

Alice, along with her late husband Martin, collaborated on a number of children's books including The Animal Fair, A Visit to William Blake's Inn and The Glorious Flight, which was awarded the Caldecott Medal in 1982. Martin also designed the original Tony the Tiger for Kellogg's.

Closet Stuffed with Alice and Martin Provensen Illustrations

Previously, I had posted about the high quality of Golden Books' endearing illustrations and prompted D+R reader JoeyB to share a terrific story of a Alice Provensen's packed closet of illustrations:

The Golden Books post reminded me of a story about Alice Provensen. I used to work for a gallery that represented children's book illustration and one of our UK clients inquired about Martin and Alice Provensen illustration for Golden Books. I tracked her down through several contacts and arranged a meeting between Alice and the gallery owner. He went down to visit her and told her he had a client interested in some of her and Martin's illustrations. She proceeded to open up a closet with the original artwork stacked in piles three feet high. She had no idea people might actually want to buy the old work.

I only wish we could have found some early drawings of Tony the Tiger.

You can see more work at R. Michelson Galleries.

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