These materials were obtained from a number of dealers, including Kenneth Rendell and Milton Reisman, during the late 1960s and early 1970s. This collection also include materials collected by Mrs. Joseph Willey and Mrs. R.L. McPhail, both collectors of Kate Greenaway materials.
Noncirculating; available for research.
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.
Kate Greenaway was born in Hoxton, London on March 17, 1846 to parents John and Elizabeth Jones Greenaway. They had intended their second child to be named Kate, but an error caused the name of Catherine to be recorded. Therefore, Catherine was always called Kate and Kate herself had to be reminded of her real name when she signed legal documents. Kate Greenaway had two sisters and a brother and spent her early childhood in Rolleston, a farming village fourteen miles from Nottingham. These early days spent in the countryside had an enormous impact upon the young Kate and would surface much later in her drawings.
John Greenaway, a successful wood engraver, was quick to spot artistic talent in his young daughter. At only seven years of age Kate was sent to evening classes at the Female School of Art. Kate had won her first prize in local competitions by the time she was twelve and it was soon determined that art would be her profession. In 1865 she entered the National Art School-South Kensington School of Art where she garnered prizes in national competitions. Her first published illustration appeared as the frontispiece in Infant Amusements, or, How to Make a Nursery Happy, published by Griffith and Farran in 1867. Her work was publicly exhibited for the first time at the Black and White Exhibition in 1868 and was purchased by the Reverend W.J. Loftie, editor of People's Magazine. He used the illustrations that he had purchased in the magazine, accompanied by verses and tales penned by his leading contributors.
Although she was still attending day classes at Kensington and evening classes at Heatherley's School of Art, Greenaway's artistic abilities were gaining credence with a variety of publishers. She produced six watercolor designs for Diamonds and Toads, a toybook published by Frederick Warne and Co. in 1869. She created a new series of watercolors to illustrate nine of Madame D'Aulnoy's fairy tales published by Gall and Inglis in 1871.
The early 1870s saw the greeting card business experience phenomenal growth and the Belfast-firm of Marcus Ward was one of the most influential companies. After proving her marketability with a Valentine design, Greenaway created hundreds of cards filled with flowers, fairies, and children. The designs that made her reputation at Marcus Ward were a series of cards showing children dressed in historical costume, placed against plain backgrounds with ornate colored and gold trimmed borders.
Kate's early career flourished, due in part to the advice that she readily accepted from William Loftie, William Ward, and her father. It was her father who introduced Kate to his old friend, Edmund Evans. Evans' color printing and engraving business was highly respected in the 1870s and printed most of the colored children's toybooks in Britain. Evans was already aware of Greenaway's greeting card designs and saw promise in the book of drawings that she showed for his approval. Evans agreed to purchase the book outright and they agreed on a title - Under the Window, taken from one of the verses penned by Greenaway.
After a number of delays, Under the Window was published by Routledge in 1879 and brought Greenaway immediate fame and fortune. She earned 800 the first year, with domestic and foreign sales reaching a staggering one hundred thousand copies. Within months of its publication, a variety of spinoff items were produced and the Greenaway style was born. There were Under the Window inspired bookmarks, advertising cards, metal buttons, embroidered handkerchiefs and scarves, sheet music, and pirated books.
The team of Evans, Greenaway, and Routledge produced a number of books, including Kate Greenaway's Birthday Book for Children, A Day in a Child's Life, Mother Goose, and Little Ann. In 1882 they collaborated on the first of a series of Almanacks published from 1883-1897. The first Almanack was followed by Language of Flowers, Marigold Garden, considered to be the high point of Greenaway's career, A Apple Pie, The Pied Piper of Hamelin and finally The April Baby's Book of Tunes in 1900.
Greenaway piracies and imitations became so widespread, especially in the United States, that they provided an unsurmountable competition for the original artist. By the late 1890s Greenaway realized that her place in the art world was no longer guaranteed. She gave up children's book illustration, instead turning to oil portraiture and landscape watercolors. Neither of these ventures was successful and she became increasingly bitter and reclusive. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 1899, but delayed the recommended surgery until July 1900. By that time, the cancer had spread and she died on November 6, 1901 at age fifty-five.Sources:
Scope and Content
The Kate Greenaway Papers are divided into twenty-one series, including original illustrations, manuscripts, correspondence, woodblocks, articles about Kate Greenaway, greeting cards, trade cards, calendars, buttons, and other miscellaneous paper and fabric ephemera.
The Illustration Series is further divided into those illustrations that were used in published books and periodicals and those that did not appear in published sources. There are extensive holdings for Kate Greenaway's A Apple Pie (1886) with forty-nine unsigned pencil sketches. Of particular interest are three different versions of the cover or title page. Kate Greenaway produced yearly almanacks beginning in 1883. The Collection has original brown ink illustrations that were created for the 1883 and 1885 almanacks and a watercolor for the 1897 edition. The April Baby's Book of Tunes (1900) is represented by eight pencil sketches, three of which were not used in the book.
There are pencil sketches for A Day in a Child's Life (1881), Fairy Gifts (1875), Kaspar and the Seven Wonderful Pigeons of Wurzburg (1876), Melcomb Manor (1873?), Mother Goose (1881), The Pied Piper of Hamelin (1888), The Queen of Pirate Isle (1886), Under the Window (1878), and The White Cat (1870).
Watercolor drawings are present for Baby's Birthday Book (1887), Fors Clavigera (1884), Language of Flowers (1884), Little Ann (1883), and The Royal Progress of King Pepito (1889). Kate Greenaway's Birthday Book for Children is represented by eleven pen and ink miniature vignettes.
In addition to books, Kate Greenaway's illustrations were also published in popular periodicals of the day. The Collection holds original illustrations that appeared in The Illustrated London News, Little Folks, The People's Magazine, Routledge's Every Girls Annual, and St. Nicholas magazine.
The Illustrations Not Created for Published Books series is further divided by medium. The Collection contains thirty pencil studies, eighty-two pencil sketches or drawings, twenty ink drawings, and thirty-nine watercolors. Kate Greenaway often made little drawings to present to her friends as keepsakes and some of these drawings may be samples of those gifts.
The pencil studies range in size from 7.5 x 6 cm. to 23 x 19 cm. and include subject matter such as studies of hands, feet, heads, arms and shoes, as well as infants, dancers, birds and musicians. The pencil sketches and drawings range in size from 8 x 6 cm. to 31 x 60 cm. Subject matter consists primarily of people in a variety of activities and settings. Some of the sketches and drawings have verses or captions in Kate Greenaway's hand.
The ink drawings range in size from 5.5 x 4.5 cm. to 25 x 19.5 cm. Subject matter consists primarily of boys and girls engaged in a variety of activities. Many of these illustrations are signed. The watercolors are, for the most part, completed drawings rather than sketches. Sizes range from 10 x 7 cm. to 67 x 51 cm. Many of the watercolors are signed "KG" and a few are dated as well. Subject matter consists of young girls and boys partaking in a variety of activities both indoors and out, children with animals and flowers, and girls posed in various dresses and coats. Several of the watercolors remain unfinished and allow us to see the method and technique used by Greenaway.
The Manuscript Series consists of fourteen separate items, most one page in length. The highlight of this series are several versions of the unpublished, illustrated manuscript for "A Short Account of a Boy of Guile and the Pigsty."
The Correspondence Series, consists of thirty-seven pieces of correspondence dating from circa 1874 through May 1901, six months before Kate Greenaway's death. All are handwritten by Greenaway to a variety of correspondents including her printer Edmund Evans; his wife, Mrs. Evans; and their children Lily, Ada, and Herbert; Lady Lindsay; Lady Maria Ponsonby; her bioographer, Marion Harry Spielmann; and Edward Bok, American publisher of The Ladies Home Journal.
The text of most of the correspondence covers everyday events, travel, schedules, some concerns over her publications, and her health. In a letter to Lady Maria Ponsonby on November 16, 1900, Greenaway laments " and another tiresome thing has happened - a tiresome little swelling just by my collarbone. The Doctor don't know if it is only a swollen gland or if it might be connected with the other tiresome lump. It is done with Bella Donna if it don't get smaller I shall have to let Mr. Howard Marsh see it." The tiresome lump was produced by the breast cancer that claimed Greenaway's life on November 6, 1901.
The Woodblock Series consists of blocks engraved by Edmund Evans and used in the printing of Marigold Garden. There are eleven woodblocks and one stereotype plate for "To the Sun Door" on page 10. For "Child's Song," page 53, there are five blocks and one stereotype plate; five blocks are held for the half-title page; there are four blocks for "Baby Mine" page 50; and six blocks and two stereotypes for page 33 "Happy Days."
Another series includes Reproductions and Photographs from Magazines, Newspapers and Books. There are photographs of illustrations in magazines, as well as the magazine pages themselves for Greenaway designs in Babyland, Cassell's Magazine, English Illustrated Magazine, Girls Own Annual, The Graphic, Harper's Bazaar, Harper's Young People, Illustrated London News, Ladies Home Journal, Little Folks, Little Wide Awake, Routledge's Every Girls Annual, St. Nicholas, and Wide Awake.
Newspaper, Magazine, and Journal Articles about Kate Greenaway make up the next series. Fifty-eight articles dating from 1883 to 1969 discuss the qualities of Greenaway's art, her hometown of Hampstead, the Greenaway Medal named in her honor, collecting Kate Greenaway's materials, numerous obituaries and a number of articles issued in 1946 in observance of her centenary year.
There is a great deal of paper ephemera bearing illustrations created by Kate Greenaway. series include greeting cards, trade cards, notecards, calendars, cardboard boxes, and miscellaneous groups of book plates, reward of merit cards, calling cards, gift cards, dance programmes, paper dolls, post cards, gift wrap and stationery.
Some of the earliest works created by Kate Greenaway are the Greeting Cards in Sets that she illustrated for the Marcus Ward Company. In 1868 she created a six-card set entitled "The Story of Little Red Riding Hood's Christmas." The six cards were also issued as a fold-out panorama. Many of the cards produced by Greenaway were issued in sets, such as "Children by the Pond," "Children on Flowers," "Feed My Lambs," and "Puck and Blossom." Most of these sets were issued by Marcus Ward, but Kate Greenaway also did a few card sets for Charles Goodall & Sons. Most card sets consist of three to six different, but related cards. There are usually several variants of the sets with differing borders, verses, size or the addition of fringe. This collection holds twenty-seven different sets, most with a number of variants.
Another subseries of the greeting card series are those Greeting Cards Based on Book Illustrations. Eleven different books are represented, including Baby's Birthday Book, The Quiver of Love, and Under the Window. A third subseries consists of forty-nine Single Greeting Cards, illustrated by Kate Greenaway. Included are Christmas, New Year's and Valentine Day cards. Another subseries include cards that are illustrated by others, but closely resemble Greenaway's style.
Trade cards bearing scenes from many of Kate Greenaway's books including Marigold Garden, Mother Goose, and Under the Window are also held.
Marcus Ward produced a Calendar of the Seasons for a number of years. This collection includes examples of calendars illustrated by Kate Greenaway for ten years from 1876 to 1899. Included are calendars for a number of years that were designed by other illustrators - 1878, 1879, 1880, and 1887.
Miscellaneous paper ephemera includes eleven bookplates designed by Greenaway for friends, most in the Locker-Lampson family. Reward of merit cards bear illustrations from Kate Greenaway's Birthday Book for Children and Under the Window. Designs from Under the Window and Mother Goose are found on gift cards, dance programmes, concert programmes, autograph albums, post cards, and stationery.
Greenaway designs were also used freely on china and glass decorative accessories. A highlight of this series is a nine-piece child's tea set decorated with Greenaway children, produced by Atlas China in Stokes on Trent, England. This series is rounded out with photographs of china and ceramic items, as well as advertisements for the same. Another series consists of buttons made from gold and silver metal and Wedgewood china bearing designs of Greenaway children.
Kate Greenaway designs also appeared on a number of fabric-based items such as bookmarks, handkerchiefs, sachets, napkins, doilys, and fabric for clothing and home decorating. Designs from Under the Window and Mother Goose appear often on these fabric items. A number of wallpaper samples with designs from the 1893 Almanack are also included.
In 1993, the Book Globe Company of Saitama, Japan borrowed a large number of the Greenaway materials for an exhibition held at four sites in Japan. A final series consists of informational brochures, posters, an exhibition catalog and photographs pertaining to the Japanese exhibitions. Also included are samples of several stationery and post card sets produced by the Book Globe Company to sell at the exhibitions.
The John Greenaway Papers and the M. H. Spielmann Papers contain correspondence related to Kate Greenaway.
Series and Subseries
A. Illustrations from Published Books
B. Illustrations Not Used in Published Books
G. Magazine, Newspaper, and Book-based Reproductions and Photographs
H. Articles about Kate Greenaway
I. Greeting Cards
J. Trade Cards
M. Cardboard Boxes
N. Miscellaneous Paper Ephemera
O. China, Glass and Silver
S. Other Ephemera
T. Miscellaneous Articles about Kate Greenaway and Her Work
U. Materials from the Kate Greenaway Exhibition in Japan in 1993
The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
The University of Southern Mississippi
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Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
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