de Grummond Collection

McCain Library and Archives
University Libraries
University of Southern Mississippi


Collection Number
Collection Dates
Collection Volume
.60 cu.ft. (1 box)

Biographical Sketch | Scope & Content | Series & Subseries | Box Inventory


Materials received from Douglas Gorsline between 1966 and 1972, and from Marie Gorsline in 1992.


Non-circulating; available for research.


This 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

Douglas Warner Gorsline was born May 24, 1913 in Rochester, New York. Interested in art from his childhood, Gorsline received his formal art training at the Yale School of Fine Art (1930-1931) and the Art Students' League (1931-1934). In 1936 Gorsline married Elisabeth Perkins; the couple had two sons. Though he began his career in fine arts, in the 1940's Gorsline switched his emphasis to commercial art, particularly book illustration. In 1947 he was elected a full academician by the National Academy of Design. After he and his wife divorced in 1959, Gorsline taught at the Art School of the National Academy from 1960 to 1962. In 1962 he began a long association with Sports Illustrated magazine, doing a series of commissions for that publication. In 1973, Gorsline became the first American artist to be invited to the People's Republic of China to paint and discuss art. Mr. Gorsline and his second wife Marie eventually moved to France, where he died of a stroke in the city of Dijon on June 25, 1985.

Gorsline illustrated more than two dozen books over the course of his career. In general, he specialized in historical subjects. He wrote and illustrated two of his own books: Farm Boy (1950), a young adult novel, and What People Wore (1952), a history of costume. His illustrations also appeared in such magazines as the New Yorker, American Heritage, and Horizon. He won many awards from art groups and organizations and had one-man art shows in galleries across the United States. Today, Mr. Gorsline's works are included in numerous public and private art collections, including those of the Library of Congress, the Carnegie Institute, the Corcoran Art Gallery, and the Chicago Art Institute.


Scope and Content

This collection has been arranged into four series: biographical information, correspondence, book-related materials, and unidentified material. The biographical material consists of a 1987 Gorsline exhibit brochure. This brochure not only provides data on Gorsline's life, but also contains short essays by three of his acquaintances as well as reproductions of some of his illustrations. The correspondence consists of a photocopy of one letter to Lena de Grummond from Douglas Gorsline, dated 1966.

The collection also holds original materials for five books which Gorsline either wrote or illustrated. Citizen of New Salem (1961), which tells of Abraham Lincoln's life as a young man in New Salem, Illinois before he became President, is represented by twenty-three original illustrations. Farm Boy (1950) was Gorsline's first novel, both written and illustrated by himself. For this title the collection includes numerous illustrations. There are also numerous illustrations for They Had a Horse (1962), which tells how a group of early American settlers pool their money to buy the horse they desperately need. The Vicksburg Veteran (1971) is a fact-based "diary" written from the point of view of Ulysses S. Grant's young son on the 1864 Vicksburg campaign. For this title the collection holds a dummy as well as more than two dozen of Gorsline's sepia-tone illustrations, which have the feel and immediacy of Civil War era photo- graphs. For William Henry Jackson, Pioneer Photographer of the West (1964), a biography written for young people, there are five original illustrations, a sketch of the dust jacket, and color separations for the dust jacket. Interestingly, the illustrations for pages 62, 116, 117, and 152 of this book were originally published in Gorsline's 1952 illustrated history of costume, What People Wore. There is one unidentified illustration in the collection which may also have been intended for What People Wore, though this cannot be verified. The illustration was definitely not published in the book, unless it perhaps was used for the dust jacket.

Series and Subseries

A. Biographical Material (1987)

B. Correspondence (1966)

C. Books (1950-1971)

D. Unidentified (undated)

Box Inventory


A. Biographical Material

1/1 Exhibit brochure, Society of Illustrators Museum of American Illustration, New York, New York, 20 October - 25 November 1987.

B. Correspondence

1/2 To [Lena Young] de Grummond from Douglas Gorsline, 21 November 1966, 1 item.

C. Books

CITIZEN OF NEW SALEM by Paul Horgan, illustrations by Douglas Gorsline (New York: Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, 1961). 1/3 Illustrations, title page spread, pp. 8-87, 23 items. FARM BOY written and illustrated by Douglas Gorsline (New York: Viking, 1950). 1/4 Illustrations, ink, title page, pp. 5-181, unpublished, unidentified, 26 items. Label, Viking Press. THEY HAD A HORSE by Walter Dumaux Edmonds, illustrated by Douglas Gorsline (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1962). 1/5 Illustrations, graphite and wash, title page spread, pp. 5-60, chapter headings, 21 items. THE VICKSBURG VETERAN by F. N. Monjo, illustrated by Douglas Gorsline (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1971). 1/6 Dummy with galley text paste-ups, annotated. Illustrations, wash, frontispiece, pp. 1-57, 31 items. [One item stored separately] Illustration, watercolor, dust jacket. WILLIAM HENRY JACKSON, PIONEER PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE WEST by Aylesa Forsee, illustrated with drawings by Douglas Gorsline, and with photographs by William Henry Jackson (New York: Viking, 1964). 1/7 Illustrations, ink, title page, pp. 49, 92, 100, 123, 62/116/117/152, 5 items. Sketch, watercolor, dust jacket. Color separations, dust jacket, 3 items.

D. Unidentified

1/8 Illustration, ink, possibly intended for What People Wore: A Visual History of Dress from Ancient Times to Twentieth-Century America written and illustrated by Douglas Gorsline (New York: Viking, 1952).

Processed: June 1992
Revised: June 2001

Biographical Sketch | Scope & Content | Related Collections | Series & Subseries | Box Inventory
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The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection

The University of Southern Mississippi
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