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Vintage book shelf :: The Golden Circus.


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Alice Provensen began illustrating books with her husband Martin in the mid 1940’s and their style is one of my absolute favorites! I found this little blurby on them that I thought was pretty cool:

The Provensens had remarkably similar experiences before they met. Both of them were born in Chicago, Illinois, and their families moved to California when they were twelve years of age. In California, they graduated from high school and college. Martin worked for the Disney Studio, in the Story Department, from 1937 to 1941. Alice worked with the artists who drew for the Walter Lantz Studio, the creators of Woody Woodpecker. Both studios were in Hollywood. They didn’t meet until 1943, when Martin, who was now in the Navy, was assigned to the Walter Lantz Studio to help create instructional films for the military. Eventually the couple moved to New York City, where friend and artist Gustaf Tenggren helped them get their first picture book illustration assignment. That first book was The Fireside Book of Folk Songs. They bought a farm in upstate New York, and their book A Year at Maple Hill Farm became an instant classic. They illustrated several Golden Books, among them The Color Kittens and Animal Farm.  — The Children’s Literature Network

What a neat couple huh! This book has such amazing illustrations. I think you’ll love Alice and Martin as much as I do!


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Posted in Vintage Books.


7 Responses

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  1. Dame Lanzers says

    They are great! We found an original copy of the Fireside Book when our first son was born. He loves the songs, we love the illustrations!

  2. jess judkins says

    this whole post makes me happy

  3. courtney snowden says

    I forgot what the theme for todays instagram challenge was, so I googled it. Your blog was on the list of websites that appeared. The lure of modern and retro and vintage was too much to resist, I clicked, and here I am! I’ve only scrolled thru a few posts, but I can already tell that this is a place where I’m gonna want to hang out for awhile:)

    • Alix says

      Aw courtney that’s awesome. Welcome to our kooky world! (And I hope ya stay a while….)
      : )

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Unearthed // Vintage Excavations From My Basement – Modern Kiddo linked to this post on May 4, 2012

    […] children’s book I have been on the hunt for for EVER (A Child’s Garden of Verses, illustrated by the Provesens) AND……a Pucci Scarf. $1.99. Sigh. And so it […]

  2. Vintage Bookshelf // A Child’s Garden of Verses 1951 – Modern Kiddo linked to this post on September 17, 2013

    […] a treasure trove of beautiful illustrations by the infamous Alice & Martin Provensen. (You can read a little more about them here!) Let’s take a […]

  3. Animal Acrobatics | animals.xcuz.me linked to this post on February 13, 2014

    […] Potter, Harry on Ball Dorothy Lathrop, The Fairy Circus, 1931 Alice and Martin Provensen, The Golden Circus, 1950 Jerzy Flisak, movie poster, […]



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