Materials received from Kurt Wiese between 1966 and 1971.
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.
Born in Minden, Germany on April 22, 1887, Kurt Wiese wanted to be an artist at a very young age. At that time, however, making a living by one's art was virtually unheard of, so Wiese was sent to Hamburg to learn about the export trade to China. He arrived in China in 1909, shortly before the revolution of 1911 began. Nevertheless, he spent the next six years traveling and doing business in China. After Japan entered World War I, Wiese was captured by the Japanese, handed over to the British and sent to Australia, where he spent the next five years in the bush as a prisoner of war. It was during this period that he began to draw seriously. Three years after WWI, Wiese headed for Brazil, where he lived and worked illustrating school books and children's books for the next three years. He moved to the United States in 1927 and married Gertrude Hansen, a realtor, in 1930. He lived on a farm in Frenchtown, New Jersey until his death in 1974.
Working primarily in full color, Wiese wrote and illustrated over 20 books for children and illustrated over 300 books written by other authors. Some of his early work was done directly on lithographic plates or on frosted plates, but he enjoyed working primarily in Chinese brushes and lithography.
Kurt Wiese was awarded many honors during his career including the New York Herald Tribune Children's Spring Book Festival Award in 1941 for Captain Kid's Cow, in 1942 for Lions on the Hunt, in 1945 for The Wizard and His Magic Powder. He received the Caldecott Honor Book Award in 1946 for You Can Write Chinese and in 1948 for Fish in the Air. He also won the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1959 for The Five Chinese Brothers, in 1965 for The Story About Ping, and in 1970 for Honk, The Moose.
The collection contains correspondence and illustrated greeting cards from Wiese to the de Grummond collection (1966-1971), original illustrations for four books published between 1938 and 1957, and one unidentified sketch. The titles are arranged alphabetically with the drawings arranged as they appear in the published work.
There are two pen and ink drawings in the collection from Abraham Lincoln (1942), a biography by Enid La Montecroft, one of which is for the dust jacket of the book. For The Five Chinese Brothers (1938), written by Claire Huchet Bishop and illustrated by Wiese, the collection includes one ink and crayon illustration of two Chinese men. There are two pen and ink drawings by Wiese from Freddy and the Flying Saucer Plans (1957) written by Walter Rollin Brooks and an ink and crayon drawing from The Jungle Twins by Irma Roberts. Finally, there is one unidentified drawing of a Chinese boy in a boat.
A. Correspondence and Cards1/1 Correspondence from Wiese to de Grummond, 1966-1971, 2 items. Cards, illustrated by Wiese, 1969 and undated, 3 items.
B. BooksABRAHAM LINCOLN by Enid La Monte Meadowcroft, illustrated by Kurt Wiese (Eau Claire, Wis.: M. Hale, 1942). 1/2 Illustration, ink, chapter head for chapter 2 (p. 12). Illustration, India ink and opaque watercolors, dust jacket. THE FIVE CHINESE BROTHERS by Claire Huchet Bishop and Kurt Wiese (New York: Coward-McCann, 1938). 1/3 Illustration, black ink and crayon, of two Chinese men. FREDDY AND THE FLYING SAUCER PLANS by Walter Rollin Brooks, illustrated by Kurt Wiese (New York: Knopf, 1957). 1/4 Illustration, ink, p. 3. Illustration, ink, p. 183. THE JUNGLE TWINS by Irma Roberts, illustrated by Kurt Wiese (New York: Coward-McCann, 1951). 1/5 Illustration, ink, crayon, p. 73.
C. Unidentified Illustration1/6 Illustration, ink, of Chinese boy in a boat.
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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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