In college, Children’s Literature was one of my passions, and I was fortunate to study under a great instructor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. When I came here in 2005, I was immediately attracted to the numerous German children’s books in the collection. The stories are mostly silly poems, moralistic tales, with some Bible stories–rather common subject matter–but the illustrations stopped me in my tracks. They are beautiful.
These special German-language Bible stories, folk stories, and history story books were popular c. 1900 until the 1940’s in Lutheran congregations in America. They were often given as part of the treat bags after the Christmas Eve church services.
I have been fascinated with the artwork for my entire 12 years here, and have even designed one of the Christmas Exhibit trees from graphite children’s book drawings in our collection. I will share some of the incredible illustrations from an accession from Edgar Dreyer with you today. Hopefully, they will inspire you to explore this beautiful era of illustration art. The next to last illustration below is of a Christmas tree filled with heavenly hosts surrounding the Christ Child. I bet you can imagine what I’m going to be designing now! Take Care, Carla Jordan