JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
Part of this blog's series on The Antiquarian Publication of Children's Artwork
Continuing an earlier post on the Great Rarity and Sublimity of Antiquarian Artwork by Children
I have found another small bit to add to the few posts I've made on this blog concerning the wide, vacant spaces of antiquarian publications of children's artwork. Its a small bit, but every bit is very difficult to come by:
I think that I can safely say that artwork by children does not make very many appearances in Western art prior to the 20th century--published images just don't appear. Nor do the originals--considering the ephemeral nature of the effort at art by children, their work just don't seem to survive. Some of that reason--particularly in America--was the scarcity of materials for kids to produce art with: paper was not inexpensive, and neither brushes and paints. Crayons, invented for chubby and reachy fingers, were not invented for the mass market until 1903. (Crayola sold eight crayons in a box for a nickel. The colors? Black, brown, blue, red, purple, orange, yellow, and green.) Then of course the artwork would have to be saved, somehow, for generations. As much as it would be fascinating to find artwork done at age four by your great-great grandparents, it would have to survive the cleansing tendencies of four generations of clean-up. End result: there's just not that much antiquarian chldrens' art floating around...
(Continue reading here.)