[ModLib] Painting on the Jacket for Alcott

Gordon Barrick Neavill neavill at wayne.edu
Fri May 16 22:29:39 EDT 2014

In my chapter for 1950, which I'm about to submit to the University of Virginia, I state, "The illustration on the jacket of Little Women is unsigned but is almost certainly one of the color illustrations Jousset made for the Illustrated Modern Library." The title page identifies Jousset as the illustrator, but of course the illustrations in regular ML edition are black and white line drawings. 

----- Original Message -----

From: "Roger Lathbury" <lathbury at gmu.edu> 
To: "For collectors of Modern Library books" <modlib at thuban.owu.edu> 
Sent: Friday, May 16, 2014 4:46:44 PM 
Subject: Re: [ModLib] Painting on the Jacket for Alcott 

Many mercis. Will try to check him out! 


From: modlib-bounces at thuban.owu.edu <modlib-bounces at thuban.owu.edu> on behalf of John Krygier <jbkrygier at owu.edu> 
Sent: Friday, May 16, 2014 3:18 PM 
To: For collectors of Modern Library books 
Subject: Re: [ModLib] Painting on the Jacket for Alcott 

Apparently Albert de Mee Jousset, who had completed the illustrations 
for a planned Illustrated Modern Library which was scrapped. I forgot 
this fact about the Alcott! 

>From ModernLib: 

Ghost Illustrateds 

Two Illustrated Modern Library titles announced for fall 1947 never appeared. The two "ghost" titles were Louisa May Alcott,Little Women, illustrated by Albert de Mee Jousset, and Francis Parkman, The Oregon Trail, illustrated by Winold Reiss. The artwork for both books had been completed and paid for, line cuts for Little Women had been made, type was set and in galleys, and the color illustrations were being manufactured when the two titles were postponed. The type remained in galleys for a year and a half as Random House waited for economic conditions to improve. It was finally decided to publish the books without color illustrations in the regular Modern Library.The Oregon Trail appeared in 1949 and Little Women followed in 1950. The jacket illustrations were probably by Jousset and Reiss. Considering the $2,000 that each artist had been paid, the two jackets quality as the most expensive in the ML's history. 

John K. 

On May 16, 2014, at 3:07 PM, Scot Kamins < kamins at modernlib.com > wrote: 

BookNotes on ModernLib for this title says "The color illustration on the dust jacket probably came from Jousset’s original material." 


On May 16, 2014, at 11:56 AM, Roger Lathbury wrote: 


Dear John K: 

Did the dust jacket say who made that painting for Little Women? It evokes, for me, not so much the book as a cosmeticized Normal Rockwell, who is also a cosmeticized Norman Rockwell. I'd be curious to know the name of the artist. The placing and figures, the treatment of the light, and the expressions recall something I've seen (maybe it's a NR picture?). I cannot think whom. 


Roger Lathbury 

Scot Kamins 

Reality is a consensual social construct. 

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