de Grummond Collection

McCain Library and Archives
University Libraries
University of Southern Mississippi



KURT WERTH PAPERS

Collection Number
Collection Dates
Collection Volume
DG1040
1956-1976
2.4 cu.ft. (4 boxes)

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

Provenance

Material contributed by Kurt Werth from 1966-1971.

Restrictions

Non-circulating; available for research.

Copyright

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

Kurt Werth was born in Leipzig, Germany in 1896. He had a normal childhood, playing cops and robbers in empty lots, soccer in ball fields, and going to the fair in a nearby town once a year. He loved winter with its snow, sleigh riding, skating, and building snow fortresses. He did his first drawings of Easter bunnies and horses on the blackboard at school. The teacher encouraged him in his artistic endeavors and advised his mother to buy all the sketchbooks and crayons he needed.

After graduating from high school Werth studied for eight terms at the State Academy for Graphic Arts in Leipzig. His professor was influenced by Cezanne, although the public wasn't yet aware of the new trend of cubism in art. At the Academy, Werth studied the new graphic techniques and tried them out as illustrations of literary works. World War I was an interruption, but afterwards, the undercurrents of the new art came out into the open. Werth began to illustrate books, the first being Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida which was well-received.

Werth moved to Munich where he continued illustrating German and Russian classics. With the American Depression of the 1930's, illustrated books disappeared from the market. This led to the rise and prosperity of the magazine market. Werth illustrated for both Simplicissimus and Querschnitt. He and his wife emigrated to the United States when the Hitler regime came to power. They came to New York where he found work in magazines and eventually illustrated his first children's books. He became an American citizen in 1947 and continued to live and work in New York City.

Werth has retold and illustrated several fairytales and folktales as well as illustrating about one hundred books for others. He has said the development of his work was inspired by Rembrandt, Daumier, and Slevogt. Among the honors and awards he has received are the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1969 for McBroom Tells the Truth by Sid Fleischman, the Golden Kite (honor) Award in 1973 for McBroom the Rainmaker by Sid Fleischman, and the New Jersey Institute of Technology Award in 1971 for That Jefferson Boy.

Sources:


Scope and Content

The collection contains correspondence and material for seventeen titles. The correspondence, dating from 1958 to 1976 and undated, is with the de Grummond Collection and is arranged chronologically. The titles are ordered alphabetically, with the material for each title arranged in the probable order in which it was created.

Baba Yaga and the Prince is one in a series of books written by Nancy K. Ford about the bad-tempered, good-hearted witch, Baba Yaga, and her long-suffering cat. For this title the collection contains illustrations, text layout, a color guide, and a color separation, all for the dust jacket. For The Bright and Shining Breadboard (1969), the story of a young man in Colonial America who sets out to find a bride who can show a clean breadboard, the collection holds a dummy, paste-ups for the dust jacket and color separations. The Cobbler's Dilemma (1967) is the story of Simon, the cobbler, who loves to talk and his work piles up while his family starves. Finally a wise man teaches him a difficult lesson. For this title the collection contains a dummy. Hear Ye of Boston (1964) by Polly Curren is the story of Boston and how it grew from an Indian village to become one of the largest and most famous cities in the United States. Six illustrations are included for this title. For Herbert's Space Trip (1965) by Hazel Wilson, the story of Herbert, an aspiring young astronaut, who lands on a planet inhabited by intelligent dogs, the collection holds an illustration, a color separation, and the dust jacket. How Mrs. Santa Claus Saved Christmas (1963) is the story of how Mrs. Claus made the yearly ride for Santa one Christmas. Included in the collection for this book are dummy pages.

King Thrushbeard (1968) is the story of an ill-tempered princess who finds fault with all her suitors until her exasperated father decides to marry her to the first vagabond who comes to the door. The collection contains a dummy for this book. McBroom's Ear (1969) is the story of how war is on when the grasshoppers attack Josh McBroom's fabulous one-acre farm and prize ear of corn. For this title, the collection includes paste-ups for the dust jacket, an illustration, and color separations. Meet Miki Takino (1963) by Helen Copeland is the story of a Japanese American boy and how he gets five grandparents to come to his school party. The collection holds early sketches for this title. Mr. Picklepaw's Puppy (1970) is the story of a puppy who is more of a hindrance than a help on the farm. Still, Mr. Picklepaw finds it difficult to get along without him. For this title three versions of dummies are included. For Picnic Pony (1956), the story of a pony who creates havoc when he tries to join the picnicers near his pasture, the collection consists of an illustration and color separations.

For Sailor Tom (1960), the story of a cat who goes to sea, the collection holds dummy pages, illustrations, color separations, and a dust jacket. That Lincoln Boy (1968) by Earl Schenck Miers is the story of the young boy who would become president. For this book the collection includes illustrations, a color separation of the dust jacket, and a color guide. A Tiger Called Thomas (1963) by Charlotte Zolotow is the story of a boy named Thomas and how he made friends in a new neighborhood on Halloween night. Included for this title are illustrations and photocopies of illustrations. For The Valiant Tailor (1965), the story of a tailor who performs a series of feats, winning a kingdom and the hand of a princess in the process, the collection holds a dummy. Who Are You Today? (1970) is the story of Jeff, whose favorite game is dressing up and pretending to be someone else. For this book the collection consists of two dummies, paste-ups for the dust jacket, color separations (some on blue-bristols), and proofs of the dust jacket. For The Year Without Santa Claus (1957), the story of how Santa Claus almost did not make his yearly sleigh ride, the collection includes dummy pages.



Related Collection

Manuscript materials for Hear Ye of Boston by Polly Curren (DG0242) are filed with her papers.




Series and Subseries


A. Correspondence (1958-1976 and undated)

B. Books (1956-1970)


Box Inventory


    Box/Folder

A. Correspondence

1/1 To the de Grummond Collection, 1958-1976 and undated, 28 items.

B. Books

BABA YAGA AND THE PRINCE by Nancy Ford, pictures by Kurt Werth (Philadelphia:Lippincott, 1961). 1/2 Illustration, ink, watercolor, and graphite, dust jacket. Illustration, text layout, ink, dust jacket. Color guide, watercolor. Color separation, dust jacket. THE BRIGHT AND SHINING BREADBOARD by Rosalys Haskell, illustrated by Kurt Werth (New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1969). 1/3 Dummy, "1st version," ink, watercolor, and graphite. Paste-ups, dust jacket, 3 items. 1/4 - 7 Color separations, 1/4 pp. 2-3, 5, 6-7, 8-9; 1/5 pp. 10-11, 12-13, 14-15, 16-17; 1/6 pp. 18-19, 20-21, 22-23, 24-25; 1/7 pp. 26-27, 28-29, 30-31, 32, and dust jacket. THE COBBLER'S DILEMMA: AN ITALIAN FOLKTALE adapted & illustrated by Kurt Werth (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967). 1/8 Dummy, ink, watercolor, and graphite. HEAR YE OF BOSTON by Polly Curren, pictures by Kurt Werth (New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co., 1964). 1/9 Illustrations, ink, watercolor, and graphite, title page, pp. 20-21, 24-25, & 38-39 (early versions) and 2 unpublished. HERBERT'S SPACE TRIP by Hazel Wilson, illustrated by Kurt Werth (New York: Knopf, 1965). 1/10 Sketch, layout for dust jacket flaps, graphite. Illustration, text, ink, dust jacket. Color separation, dust jacket. Dust jacket, 2 items. HOW MRS. SANTA CLAUS SAVED CHRISTMAS by Phyllis McGinley, illustrated by Kurt Werth (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1963). 1/11 Dummy pages, ink, watercolor, and graphite, 8 items. KING THRUSHBEARD retold and illustrated by Kurt Werth (New York: Viking Press, 1968). 1/12 Dummy, ink, watercolor, and graphite. MCBROOM'S EAR by Sid Fleischman, illustrated by Kurt Werth (New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1969). 2/1 Illustration, ink, watercolor, and graphite, dust jacket. Paste-ups, p. 1 and dust jacket. 2/1 - 7 Color separations, 2/1 pp. 2-3, 4-5, 6-7; 2/2 pp. 8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15; 2/3 pp. 16-17, 18-19, 20-21, 22-23; 2/4 pp. 24-25, 26-27, 28-29, 30-31; 2/5 pp. 32-33, 34-35, 36-37, 38-39; 2/6 pp. 40-41, 42-43, 44-45, 46-47; 2/7 p. 48, endpapers, and dust jacket. MEET MIKI TAKINO by Helen Copeland, illustrated by Kurt Werth (New York: Lothrop, Lee and Shepard, 1963). 2/8 Illustrations, early sketches, watercolor, marker, pen, and graphite, pp. (2-3, 12-13, and 30-31]. MR. PICKLEPAW'S PUPPY by Ruth and Guy Adams, illustrated by Kurt Werth (New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co., 1970). 2/9 Correspondence, 20 November 1969, 1 item. Dummy, "1st version," ink, watercolor, and graphite. Dummy, ink, watercolor, and graphite. Dummy, "final version," ink, watercolor, graphite. 3/1 Sketch, graphite, dust jacket. Color guide, watercolor. 3/1 - 5 Color separations, 3/1 pp. 1, 2-3, 4-5, 6-7; 3/2 pp. 8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15; 3/3 pp. 16-17, 18-19, 20-21, 22-23; 3/4 pp. 24-25, 26-27, 28-29, 30-31; 3/5 p. 32, and dust jacket. PICNIC PONY by Vardine Moore, pictures by Kurt Werth (New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co., 1956). 3/6 Paste-up, ink, watercolor, title page. 3/6 - 11 Color separations, 3/6 title page, [pp. 2-3, 4-5; 3/7 pp. 6-7, 8-9, 10-11; 3/8 pp. 12-13, 14-15, 16-17; 3/9 pp. 18-19, 20-21, 22-23; 3/10 pp. 24-25, 26-27, 28-29; 3/11 pp. 30-31, 32-33] and dust jacket. SAILOR TOM by Edna Boutwell, illustrated by Kurt Werth (Cleveland: World, 1960). 3/12 Dummy pages, ink, pp. 9, 20, and 73. Illustrations, ink, dust jacket, 2 items. Illustration, ink, watercolor, and crayon, dust jacket. 3/12-15 Color separations, overlays only, 3/12 pp. 2-31, 15 items; 3/13 pp. 32-54, 15 items; 3/14 pp. 55-77, 15 items; 3/15 pp. 78-93 and dust jacket, 14 items. Dust jacket. THAT LINCOLN BOY by Earl Schenck Miers, illustrated by Kurt Werth (Cleveland: World Publishing Company, 1968). 4/1 Illustrations, ink and watercolor, pp. 7-119, 16 items. Illustration, ink, watercolor, and graphite, dust jacket. Color separation, dust jacket. Color guide, dust jacket, 1 item. A TIGER CALLED THOMAS by Charlotte Zolotow, pictures by Kurt Werth (New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1963). 4/2 Illustrations, ink, watercolor, and graphite, pp. 12-13, 20-21, and 1 unpublished. Illustrations, photocopies, pp. 12-13, 20-21, and unpublished, 6 items. THE VALIANT TAILOR retold and illustrated by Kurt Werth (New York: Viking Press, 1965). 4/3 Dummy, ink, watercolor, and graphite. WHO ARE YOU TODAY? by Richard Shaw, illustrated by Kurt Werth (New York: F. Warne, 1970). 4/4 Dummy, ink, watercolor, and graphite. 4/5 Dummy, ink, watercolor, and graphite. Paste-ups, pp. 2-3, 1-4, and dust jacket. 4/6 - 10 Color separations, some with blue-bristols, 4/6 pp. 2-3, 1-4, 5, 6-7, 8-9; 4/7 pp. 10-11, 12-13, 14-15; 4/8 pp. 16-17, 18-19, 20-21, 22-23; 4/9 pp. 24-25, 26-27, 28-29, 30-31; 4/10 p. 32, and dust jacket. Proofs, color separations, dust jacket, 6 items. [oversize - stored separately] THE YEAR WITHOUT SANTA CLAUS by Phyllis McGinley, pictures by Kurt Werth (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1957). 4/11 Dummy pages, ink, watercolor, and graphite, pp. 2-32 and dust jacket, 15 items.


Processed: Not Available
Revised: July 2001

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The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
Box 5148
Hattiesburg, MS 39406
(601) 266-4349
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