Rare Antique Coloring Book - Rainbow Painting and Crayoning Book - Illustrated by Florence Notter circa 1920s
Let me, Oh let me bathe my soul in colours; let me swallow the sunset and drink the rainbow. Khalil Gibran
This beautiful antique children's coloring book, published by M. A. Donohue & Company in the 1920s was beautifully illustrated by beloved American artist and writer Florence Notter (1884-1960).
A graduate of the Chicago Arts Institute, Florence was born in Independence, Kansas but was raised in Chicago where she studied art. Described as quiet and petite with brown hair and French and German ancestry, Florence's books and illustrations were immensely popular, especially among the Chicago school system set. Selling hundreds of thousands of books during her career, Florence also taught art courses at the Chicago Arts Institute and wrote a newspaper column.
In the 1920s, she illustrated this Rainbow book which features over 60 pages of colorful vignettes and black and white drawings on thick paper suitable to accept both crayon and paint applications. Untouched by any previous child's creative hand, this is a pristine glance at coloring books of the 1920s and the beautiful artistry they encouraged. Several of the pages were left blank so that aspiring artists could create their own images or copy the illustrations printed on the opposite page. Vignettes include scenes of nature, flowers, fruit, birds, toys and children playing.
Now a very rare find and in remarkably wonderful condition, this book is such a sweet glimpse into the creative endeavors of children growing up during the Roaring 20s. There's no telling how many artists Florence inspired throughout her life, but it's our bet that it was quite a few thanks to beautiful practice books like this.
- Published by M.A. Donohue & Company
- 64 pages
- Hardcover binding
- Each illustration bears Florence Notter's signature
- None of the coloring or painting pages have been filled in
In lovely antique condition. A previous owner's name - Ethel - is written in pencil in the top left corner of the front cover. The marbleized back cover bears some sun fading. It looks like the front and back endpapers might have been removed from the book, but all other pages are intact and secure in the tight binding. None of the pages have been augmented with any paint or crayons by previous owners. An ink stamp on the inside of the back cover says MK 25, which most likely refers to the initial 1920s market retail price of $0.25.
Measures 11" (length) x 8.5" inches (width) x .5" inches (thickness) and weighs 14 oz.