E. (Elizabeth) MacKinstry illustrations
Held at: Free Library of Philadelphia: Children's Literature Research Collection [Contact Us]1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19103
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Free Library of Philadelphia: Children's Literature Research Collection. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
E. (Elizabeth) MacKinstry was born in 1879 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Her family moved to Paris when she very young. There she began studying violin at age 7. She proved to be a musical prodigy and studied under famed violinist Eugène Ysaÿe, but her brief career as a violinist came to an end when she was a teenager due to tuberculosis of the spine. Afterwards her family returned to the United States and she began studying drawing and sculpture. She taught art at Albright Art School of the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy in Buffalo, New York from 1911-1913. In 1913 she published a book of poetry, Helen's Mirror and Other Verses, under the pseudonym Elizabeth Westermain, but she did not begin illustrating children’s books until 1924 with What Shall We Play?, written by Edna Geister. This was followed in 1925 by the poetry collection Puck in Pasture (1925), which she both wrote and illustrated. Many of Mackinstry’s illustrations were done for anthologies of fairy tales, including The White Cat, and Other Old French Fairy Tales (1928) and Anderson’s Fairy Tales (1933). She died on May 13, 1956 in Lenox, Massachusetts. In 1957, she was honored with a memorial exhibit of her work at the Central Children’s Room of the New York Public Library.
Something About the Author, vol. 42.
This collection consists of three bound volumes and four sets of drawings and studies by children's illustrator E. (Elizabeth) MacKinstry (1879-1956). Subjects range from figure drawings to copies of famous artworks to demonstrations of various artistic techniques. Many of the artworks feature religious or literary themes, including illustrations by MacKinstry for The Hobbit, Pilgrim's Progress, Richard III, and others. There are also designs for stage sets and costumes for Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus. MacKinstry was a skilled and versatile artist who mastered many styles, from classical to Cubist, all represented in this collection.
The collection is arranged in alphabetical order by title.
One item listed in the catalog of framed art could not be located as of April 2012. The catalog cards describe the items as follows:
"From The Rescue of the Doll's House five illustrations in color. 28"H x 15"V, Black frame, white mat. Original, 1960."
Gift of Florence Brooks, 1960.
- Free Library of Philadelphia: Children's Literature Research Collection
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Lindsay Friedman
- Finding Aid Date
- April 2012
- The processing of this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources’ “Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives” Project.
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open to researchers by appointment. Please contact the Curator for information on access.
- Use Restrictions
The right of access to material does not imply the right of publication. Permission for reprinting, reproduction, or extensive quotation from the rare books, manuscripts, prints, or drawings must be obtained through written application, stating the use to be made of the material. The reader bears the responsibility for any possible infringement of copyright laws in the publication of such material. A reproduction fee will be charged if the material is to be reproduced in a commercial publication.
This volume contains sketches and studies, many with religious and literary themes. There are copies of work by famous artists, studies of stained glass and sculptures, and a variety of works done to demonstrate various artistic techniques. Many of the drawings are annotated by MacKinstry.
This volume contains drawings and sketches, many in a modernist style. It also includes a illustrated poem, Ole' Joel Griscom.
A humorous set of art historical sketches by MacKinstry.
Drawings have separated from the paper.
The drawings include extensive figure studies, demonstrations of different art techniques, and illustrations for literary works including The Hobbit, Pilgrim's Progress, Richard III, and Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis. There are also designs for stage settings and costumes for Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus.
A set of drawings and lettering using quills, copper points, steel, gold, and bamboo pens.