The material in this collection was donated by Lisl Weil between 1966 and 1989.
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.
Lisl Weil was born in Vienna, Austria where she began to draw at a very young age. By the time she was sixteen, Weil's drawings were being published regularly in a Viennese newspaper. At the same time, she was attending art school. She also performed for a time with a dance group. After spending a year in Holland, she moved to New York in 1939. She soon met her future husband, Julius Marx, who guided her towards children's literature. From the 1950s through the 1990s, she estimated that she illustrated more than a hundred children's books--over half of them for stories that she wrote herself.
In addition to illustrating books, Weil also performed with several major symphony orchestras. As the orchestra played, she drew the story which the music was based on a huge easel. She also danced her interpretation of the story as she drew. In 1963 and 1964, she had a weekly television show called "Children's Sketch Book."
Lisl Weil passed away on February 5, 2006 at the age of 95.
Most of the books represented in this collection are adapted from fairytales, folktales and myths, or follow the basic format of the fairytale. For instance, Gillie and the Flattering Fox was adapted from an Italian folktale about a vain rooster. A hungry fox captures the rooster by complimenting his singing. The Riddle Monster is a version of the Sphinx myth. The Boy Who Flew Too Close to the Sun is based on the Greek myth of Daedelus and Icarus. The Golden Spinning Wheel and I Wonder Why," Thought the Owl are also adapted from folktales. Weil based The Story of the Wise Men and the Child, and The Very First Story Ever Told, on Biblical stories.
The Golden Spinning Wheel, and The Fantastic Toy Shop combine Weil's love of drawing and storytelling with her appreciation of music. The first is based on a musical poem by Antonin Dvorak. The latter is based on a ballet by Rossini-Respighi. In both books, Weil integrates illustrations, text and musical notation.
Many of the books written and illustrated by Weil have a light or comedic theme. Examples include Ralphi Rhino, Melissa's Friend Fabrizzio, and Shivers and the Case of the Secret Hamburgers. The latter concerns the efforts of a guard dog to capture some clever food thieves. New Clothes is a history of fashion written for children.
For most of the titles listed above, the collection holds some combination of sketches, preliminary illustrations, and final illustrations, almost all made with watercolors. The number of illustrations for each title ranges from one to eight. For Gillie and the Flattering Fox, the collection also holds a typescript, a galley, preliminary layouts, and an illustration proof.
Weil also illustrated many books for other authors, and materials from some of these books are represented in this collection. In particular, the collection contains numerous black ink drawings used to illustrate books in the McGurk mystery series by E.W. Hildick. The Case of the Condemned Cat, The Case of the Snowbound Spy, and Deadline For McGurk are all humorous mysteries involving McGurk and his crime-solving friends. For Deadline For McGurk and The Case of the Snowbound Spy, there are also color separations.
A. Alphabetical Files (1968-1978, n.d.)1/1 Correspondence with de Grummond Collection, 1968-1978, 4 items. 1/2 Drawings, 3 items. Cards and notes with illustrations by Weil (some original and some printed), 7 items. Poster, 1 item. Publicity brochure with autobiographical essay.
B. Books (1954-1988)The Bed Just So by Jeanne Hardendorff, illustrated by Lisl Weil (New York: Four Winds Press, 1975). 1/3 Preliminary illustration, ink and watercolor, pp. 6-7. Bitzli and the Big Bad Wolf by Lisl Weil (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Press, 1960). 1/4 Sketches, charcoal and watercolor, 3 items. The Boy Who Flew Too Near the Sun by Lisl Weil (New York: Scholastic, 1984). 1/5 Preliminary illustrations, ink and colored pencil, pp. 2, 10-11, 12, 16- 17. The Case of the Condemned Cat by E. W. Hildick, illustrated by Lisl Weil (New York, Macmillan, 1975). 1/6 Illustrations, ink; pp. 6, 11, 14, 16, 19, 23, 25, 30, 54, 57, 73, 84, 106, unused; 14 items. The Case of the Snowbound Spy by E.W. Hildick, illustrated by Lisl Weil (New York: Macmillan, 1980). 1/7 Illustrations for book jacket, 2 items. Illustrations, unused, 10 items. 1/8 Color separations for book jacket, 4 items. Chicken: Story and Pictures by Lisl Weil (New York: F. Warne, 1976). 1/9 Preliminary illustration, ink and watercolor, p. 17, 1 item. Deadline for McGurk by E. W. Hildick, illustrated by Lisl Weil (New York: Macmillan, 1975). 1/10-1/12 Illustrations, ink, with text overlays, 1/10 Front matter, 2 pp.; chapters 1-8, 17 pp. 1/11 Chapters 9-17, 17 pp. 1/12 Unused, 12 pp. 1/13 Color separation, book jacket, 1 item. 1/14 Separations; pp. 13, 14, 58, 59, 60; 6 items. 1/15 Title page paste-up, unused, 1 item. Eyes So-o Big by Lisl Weil (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1964). 2/1 Preliminary illustration for book jacket, watercolor, 1 item. Paste up of book jacket, ink and watercolor, 1 item. The Fantastic Toy Shop by Lisl Weil, based on a ballet by Rossini-Respighi, music adapted by David Shapiro (London, New York: Abelard-Schuman, 1966). 2/2 Illustration, ink and watercolor, unused, 1 item. Gillie and the Flattering Fox by Lisl Weil (New York: Atheneum, 1978). 2/3 Typescript, edited, typesetter's marks, 7 pp. Galley, 4 pp. 2/4 Preliminary layout with illustrations, ink and watercolor, pp. 2-36. 2/5 Preliminary illustrations, ink and marker, pp. 5, 10, 13, 14, 18; 6 items. 2/6 Illustration proofs; front cover, 1 p.; pp. 1-36. 2/7 Illustration, ink and watercolor, p. 10. 2/8 Paste-up of title page. Illustration (ink), sketch (watercolor), and layout information for book jacket. The Golden Spinning Wheel by Lisl Weil, music by Antonin Dvorak (London: Macmillan, 1969). 2/9 Preliminary illustrations, ink, crayon and watercolor, pp. 12-13, 14-15, 17. 2/10 Preliminary illustration, watercolor, p. 17. Human Rights Day by Eileen Fisher and Olive Rabe, illustrated by Lisl Weil (New York: Crowell, 1966). 2/11 Illustrations for book jacket, unused, 1 item. Paste-up of book jacket, 1 item. "I Wonder Why?" Thought the Owl; an Old World Tale by Margaret Van Doren Bevans, illustrated by Lisl Weil (New York: Putnam, 1965). 2/12 Sketches, watercolor, 1 item. If Eggs Had Legs: Nonsense and Some Sense by Lisl Weil (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1976) 2/13 Book jacket, 1 item. Let's Go to the Circus by Lisl Weil (New York: Holiday House, 1988). 2/13 Book jacket, 1 item. The Little Store on the Corner by Alice P. Miller, illustrated by Lisl Weil (New York: Scholastic Book Services, 1973). 2/14 Preliminary illustration, p. 18, 1 item. The Long Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Duryea, illustrated by Lisl Weil (Houghton, 1954). 2/15 Illustration, ink and watercolor, endpapers, 1 item. Melissa's Friend Fabrizzio by Lisl Weil (New York: Macmillan, 1967). 2/16 Preliminary illustration, ink, p. 21. New Clothes: What People Wore, From Cavemen to Astronauts by Lisl Weil (New York: Atheneum, 1987). 2/17 Folded and gathered sheets; front matter, 2 pp.; pp. 1-62. Book jacket, 1 item. Of Witches and Monsters and Wondrous Creatures by Lisl Weil (New York: Atheneum, 1985). 2/18 Illustrations, unused, 2 items. Owl and Other Scrambles by Lisl Weil, edited by Emilie McLeod (New York: Dutton, 1980). 2/18 Illustration, unused, 1 item. Ralphi Rhino by Lisl Weil (New York: Walker, 1974). 2/19 Color separation, pp. 12-13. Riddle Monster by Lisl Weil (New York: Clarion Books, 1981). 2/20 Preliminary illustration for book jacket, 1 item. Shivers and the Case of the Secret Hamburgers by Lisl Weil (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1967). 2/21 Preliminary illustrations, pp. 8, 9, 12, 18. Step on It, Andrew by Barbara Shook Hazen, illustrated by Lisl Weil (New York: Atheneum, 1980). 2/22 Preliminary illustrations, pp. 1, 3, 4-5. The Story of the Wise Men and the Child by Lisl Weil (New York: Atheneum, 1981). 2/22 Preliminary illustration, ink and watercolor, p. 9. The Very First Story Ever Told by Lisl Weil (New York: Atheneum, 1976). 2/23 Preliminary illustrations, watercolor, pp. 22-23, 34-35. A Visit with Rosalind by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat, illustrated by Lisl Weil (New York: Macmillan, 1971). 2/24 Preliminary illustration, ink and watercolor, book jacket, 1 item.
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The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
The University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive, #5148
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
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