Jewels in Her Crown: Treasures of Columbia University Libraries Special Collections

Exhibition Themes > Printing History & Book Arts > 11. Arthur Rackham

11a.  Arthur Rackham (1867-1939).  Self-portrait, 1924. Pastel, from Sketch book F1. RBML, Arthur Rackham Collection

11b.  Arthur Rackham (1867 -1939).  Sketchbook for A Midsummer Night's Dream, ca. 1908. Pencil, 18 pages, Sketch book F4. RBML, Arthur Rackham Collection

This haunting self-portrait reveals the genius of one of England's most renowned children's book illustrators. Born in 1867, Arthur Rackham entered the Lambeth School of Art in 1884. From 1885 to 1892 he worked as a clerk in an insurance office. In 1893 he began what would be his life's work, illustrating the Ingoldsby Legends, and Charles and Mary Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare. He became famous with Grimm's Fairy Tales in 1900, and Rip Van Winkle in 1905, and through an exhibition held at the Leicester Galleries in 1905. The Rackham collection at Columbia University contains 413 drawings, watercolors, and oil paintings, as well as 30 sketch books, including this one of sketches for A Midsummer Night's Dream. In addition, the collection contains some 400 printed books and ephemera.

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred C. Berol, 1967

Columbia University Libraries / Butler Library / 535 West 114th St. / New York, NY 10027 / (212) 854-7309 /