New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1993. Original Artwork. ARCHIVE. Very Good. Item #2831
Garth Williams was an illustrator of several of the more popular post-WWII children's books. His work includes Stuart Little (1945) and Charlotte's Web (1952) by E.B. White and the entire series of Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. he also illustrated Cricket in Times Square (1960) by George Selden and The Rescuers (1959) by Margery Sharp.
Archive of over 125 Garth Williams (1912-1996) sketches, letters, proofs and production notes pertaining to "J.B.'s Harmonica", written by John Sebastian (Lovin' Spoonful) and illustrated by Garth Williams. Published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, the lot includes three copies of the stated "First Draft" of the book accompanied by two letters from the publisher discussing Garth's involvement in the project. The first letter is from Bonnie Ingber, Editor of Children's Books for HBJ, dated July 14, 1987. The second letter is from Allyn M. Johnson, Editor of Children's Books for HBJ, dated July 27, 1989.
This archive includes 68 original drawings and sketches by Garth Williams, 12 of which are on card stock with four (4) being signed "Garth Williams" and nine (9) with "Happy Harmonica" or "Harmonica" in Garth's hand on them. The lot includes a mock-up of the book created by Garth. The lot also includes 39 additional printed artist proof pages, some with notes and page numbers written in ink. Signed first printing (signed and dated by John Sebastian) also included.
The production of this book obviously took place over the course of several years, with this lot being some of the earlier work done on the project. This fact is reflected in the that these original production drawings and sketches never made it to the final book. The drawings here are of "JB" as a human child. The book reflects "JB" (James Bear) as a bear cub. Most of the scenes portrayed in these drawings made it to the final published book, they simply feature a bear instead of a human child. Interestingly, this change created this archive of now UNPUBLISHED artwork that was saved by Garth himself and sold by the estate of Garth Williams.