(WYETH, N. C., Illustrator). LONGFELLOW, HENRY WADSWORTH.
THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH.(Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1920). 241 x 178 mm (9 1/2 x 7"). 6 p.l., 147,  pp. "Tercentenary Edition.".
Original publisher's cloth with full-color illustration by Wyeth mounted on front cover, illustrated endpapers, original dust jacket repeating the cover illustration. Eight color plates by N. C. Wyeth. Verso of dust jacket reinforced with seven short pieces of transparent tape, several very minor closed tears at jacket edges, white portions of the wrapper somewhat soiled, but the illustrated panel bright and pleasing and the jacket as a whole still very good; the volume itself with a very narrow band of faint discoloration along bottom of back cover, otherwise extremely fine.
The American illustrator Newell Convers Wyeth (1882-1945) was a pupil of Howard Pyle (1853-1911), a magazine and book illustrator known for his work on the legends of Robin Hood and King Arthur. In contrast to Pyle's work, much of N. C. Wyeth's art captured American subjects informed by the experience of early trips to the West, where there were still to be seen cowboys, Indians, gun fighters, and gold miners. (Of course, Wyeth also painted plenty of pirates, knights, and brigands.) Our artist's first published work was a bucking bronco on the cover of "The Saturday Evening Post" in 1903. In 1911 he painted what were perhaps his first widely-recognized book illustrations, a series for "Treasure Island." Among his other most celebrated book work were the pictures he did for editions of "The Yearling," "The White Company," "Robinson Crusoe," "The Last of the Mohicans," and "Kidnapped." In all, Wyeth created more than 3,000 paintings and illustrated 112 books over his career, demonstrating an enormous creativity and variety of invention that justly earned him the title of the "dean of American illustrators." At his death, the Washington, D.C. Evening Star wrote: "Thousands of people admired his achievements without comprehending why they were good," but to his fellow artists, "he was a painter's painter, an illustrator's illustrator." Perhaps the best way to explain his genius is to say that his pictures narrated danger and excitement in such an intense way that they communicated to the viewer the fullest possible realization of the moment. When still in his early 60s, N. C. Wyeth died tragically in an accident at a railway crossing along with his grandson. Wyeth and his wife produced at least two generations of artists: his children, Andrew Wyeth, Henriette Wyeth Hurd, and Carolyn Wyeth were visual artists, and Ann Wyeth McCoy was an artist and composer. Significant public collections of Wyeth's work are housed at the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, at the Portland Museum of Art, and at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Maine. The present book by Longfellow is less common than most Wyeth items, and quite scarce in dust jacket. (CAB07085)