Several Large Preliminary Drawings of the Frontispiece for Stuart Little

    Garth Williams. Stuart Little frontispiece - preliminary drawings.

    Garth Williams. Original preliminary drawings for the illustration used as the frontispiece for
    Stuart Little, 1945: the Little family with Stuart. Pencil on paper -- one with the drawing traced on the reverse. Five large sheets measuring 15.875 x 12 inches. All initialed by Williams. Some shallow folds and creases. All very good or better. Also with a photocopy proof of the final drawing, signed in full (in ink) by Williams at lower right.

    This series of drawings shows the evolution of the drawing that eventually became the frontispiece illustration for Stuart Little. Two of the drawings have notations in pencil by Williams, likely for the approval of E. B. White and editor Ursula Nordstrom. One of them reads: "don't think he should look amused or worried" with an arrow pointing to Mr. Little. Below this is the word "no," probably in White's or Nordstrom's hand. Another sheet has the notation "like this best for head," also with an arrow pointing to Mr. Little.

    In a 1983 letter to Peter F. Neumeyer, Garth Williams wrote that after much thought, he decided to make Mr. Little look like E. B. White and to make Mrs. Little to look like White's wife, Katharine. Whether or not White realized this homage is unclear, as Williams wrote: "Mr. White passed the frontispiece without comment" (Neumeyer, p. 201). From the Estate of Garth Williams.

    Peter F. Neumeyer, The Annotated Charlotte's Web. New York: HarperCollins, 1994.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    7th-9th Thursday-Saturday
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