Among the nearly 200,000 books in the Virginia Historical Society's collections are dozens of children's books beloved by Virginians, both young and old.
This exhibition explores how literature for young audiences evolved over the last 170 years and the way illustration adapted to capture those readers imagination.
The 19 titles in this exhibition represent some of the most stunning examples of stories and artwork that transported children to new lands, be it the woodlands near Werowocomoco, the shores of Chincoteague, or the western frontier.
The Swan and Other Stories, written and illustrated by McLoughlin Brothers Publishers
This 1860 title features chromolithographic illustrations, a method of planographic (flat surface) printing that allowed artists to layer multiple oil colors onto paper. (VHS call number: PZ 10.3 S97, Gift of Ann E. Emmons)
Pocahontas, written and illustrated by Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire
This 1946 book was written and illustrated by husband-and-wife team Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire. The two worked as a team on both the art and text for all their books, using stone lithography in the 1930s and transitioning to acetate sheet printing in the 1960s. (VHS call number: E 99 P85 D38 Gen Coll o.s., Purchased through the Battle Abbey Fund)
The Army Alphabet, written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by Harry Kennedy
The Army Alphabet was published in 1900, the same year that author L. Frank Baum published The Wizard of Oz. Kennedy's color lithographs feature a young boy reacting to military scenes. (VHS call number: PS 3503 A923 A74 1900 Rare Books o.s., Bequest of Paul Mellon)