From Seuss to Sendak: Rare children’s art collection highlights March 12 auction

DALLAS, Texas – A rich selection of paintings and works on paper from an important California collection, featuring some of the greatest names to ever grace the pages of children’s literature, will anchor Heritage Auction Galleries’ March 12 Illustration Art Auction. Highly scarce offerings from names like Maurice Sendak, Dr. Seuss, Ludwig Bemelmans, Tasha Tudor, and John R. Neill are just a few of the major names making this the most important Heritage Illustration Art Auction to date.
Included along with the multi-layered selection of children’s illustration art are great, scarce examples by such major book and magazine illustrators as Jessie Willcox Smith, Maxfield Parrish, John Clymer, Arthur Rackham, William Heath Robinson, Harold Gaze, Edmund Dulac, Edward Julius Detmold, Michael Hague, and Chris Van Allsburg, as well as the single best Gustaf Tenggren animation-related art Heritage has ever offered, according to Todd Hignite, Consignment Director.
“This is a tremendously exciting auction on a number of levels, particularly in the depth of quality art being offered” said Hignite. “The California Collection, however, is just tremendous. Rare illustrated book art spanning the 20th century, from the classic mid-century American and British children’s book illustrators, to the most sought after contemporary masters – all giants in the field – are represented here. Much of this impeccable group, particularly the pre-World War I art, is extremely rare in the American market, and these examples are truly museum quality. The artists represented are the best of the best.”
“We couldn’t be more excited about this group, as a whole,” he continued, “and, after further research – and input from the consignor – we wanted to alert our collectors that more detailed information—as well as videos highlighting the collection—is now available online.”
 “Because of the scarcity in the marketplace this represents a very rare opportunity for our collectors,” said Hignite. “Some of these artists, like Dr. Seuss and Maurice Sendak, almost never have original artwork on the market. They both left their archives to private institutions, so this may well be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the right collector.”
As the undisputed leader in the category, Heritage auctions have come to exemplify the diversity and depth of the field, and the March 12-13 auction is no exception. In addition to this important California Collection, there is great early, pioneering fantasy art by original Tarzan artist J. Allen St. John in the form of Thuvia, Maid of Mars illustration, 1920, which appeared as the frontispiece of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel, Thuvia, Maid of Mars, A. C. McClurg and Co., 1920; a rich group of classic American pin-up art, including Gil Elvgren’s playful Aw-Come On, circa 1953, and Rolf Armstrong’s seductive Hat Dance, circa 1950; an excellent Shadow cover, Gems of Jeopardy by Graves Gladney, circa 1941, anchors the pulp cover section of the auction, and, as a special treat, what can only be considered as one of the best men’s adventure magazine covers ever, I Fought the Sea Killer, Adventure cover, August 1956, by the unequaled Mort K?nstler.
Heritage’s Signature Illustration Art Auction will be held March 12-13, 2009, at the company’s Uptown Dallas headquarters.
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