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Manuscript Collection

Collection Title: Joe and Beth Krush Papers

Collection Number: DG1172

Inclusive Dates: circa 1967

Volume: .40 cu. ft. (1 box)

Provenance : Materials received by the de Grummond Collection in 1964 from Little, Brown & Co., at the request of Eleanor Cameron, author of the book

Copyright: The collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U. S. Code).  Reproductions can be made only if they are to be used for "private study, scholarship, or research."  It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials, other than that noted above.

Biographical Sketch:

Beth Krush was born March 31, 1918, in Washington D.C. She loved the many entertainment opportunities that the city offered for children, such as the zoo, national shrines, band concerts, and parades. She remembers how much she loved to draw as a little girl. Her parents encouraged her by keeping the house stocked with paper and pencils for drawing. Beth claims that her hometown was often the subject of her drawings.

Joe Krush was born May 18, 1918, in Camden , New Jersey , where he was raised. Joe admits that drawing was not a childhood dream for him; however, he won prizes for his drawings of boats, model planes, and model boats as a boy.

Joe and Beth Krush met the first day of class at the Philadelphia Museum School of Art. In school, Joe won the illustration prize for the guys and Beth won for the girls. They were married during World War II and have one son.

The Krushes originally intended to work separately. Joe served in the Office of Strategic Services during World War II as a graphic designer. Later he worked free-lance in many different artistic capacities, while Beth taught drawing and illustration at Moore College of Art, a women's college.

The beginning of their working relationship together was truly an accident. The couple began helping one another in order to meet deadlines. Editors were quite pleased with the collaboration of Joe and Beth Krush's work.

People often wonder and question the Krushes about their method of working together, especially on the same illustration. Beth explained the process, "usually they pick the incidents and talk over the staging together. Then, Joe does the first composition and perspective sketch; and Beth reworks that, adding her two cents and looking up costumes, furniture, plants, animals, and people. Most often Joe does the final rendering in his own decorative line." Beth also claims that she and her husband have their own individual pride and both also like to do work that is either all his or all hers.

The husband and wife team's best known illustrative collaboration is a series called The Borrowers , written by Mary Norton. The Krushes have received numerous awards and honors for their work. Some of these awards are: Boys' Club Junior Book Award, Boys' Club of America, 1953; Newbery Award, 1957; Newbery Honor book, 1958; Vermont Congress of Parents and Teachers, 1958; Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, 1970; and Helen Keating Ott award for outstanding contribution to children's literature, Churchyard Synagogue Library Association, 1983.


Something About the Author

Scope and Content:

This collection contains one paste-up of a double-page spread with original pen and ink illustrations for A Spell is Cast by Eleanor Cameron. This fiction book is for young readers.

Series and Subseries:

A. Book (1964)

  • A SPELL IS CAST (1964)

Box Inventory


A. Books (1964)

A Spell is Cast by Eleanor Cameron, illustrations by Joe and Beth Krush (Boston: Little, Brown, & Co., 1964).


Paste-up of double-page spread title page with original pen and ink illustration.

Processed: February 1999

This finding aid is a product of a grant funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Created by: Dee Jones
Prepared and maintained by
University of Southern Mississippi Libraries de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
118 College Drive #5148   Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001

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Revised: August 4, 2015