Paper Arts & Crafts

Paper Arts & Crafts coverWhat a great gem of a find. The title of this booklet caught my eye, while sifting through some dusty ephemera at this antiques market in Illinois. The bright reds and oranges were calling me, I guess. I wasn't expecting much, but when I picked it up and thumbed through it, I was pleasantly surprised to see all these wonderful spot illustrations spread throughout. And, again, there is no mention of who did the artwork, but I've seen the artist's work before. I'm guessing that this is late 50's, possibly '57 or '58.

If you'd like to see these images in a slideshow, check out my Flickr Fun Ephemera photoset, and click on the "View as slideshow" link in the upper-right. This photoset will be an on-going thing, with me updating it periodically, adding images from my vast collection of fun, quirky and interesting ephemera, when I get the chance. I'll upload the Busy Office, Busy People images into this set later on, as well as others I've posted here on The Ward-O-Matic. I'd like to have all my scanned wonders together in one place for everybody to check out. Hopefully, it'll be a source of inspiration for all of you who like this sort of thing.

Onto the images:
Paper Arts & Crafts: cutting
Paper Arts & Crafts: ABCs
Paper Arts & Crafts: sitting
Paper Arts & Crafts: fish kite
Paper Arts & Crafts: swing
Paper Arts & Crafts: see and learn
Paper Arts & Crafts: weather
Paper Arts & Crafts: mobiles

Because the two following images are horizontal, you don't really get a chance to fully appreciate the artwork. So click on them to view much larger versions:

Paper Arts & Crafts: murals
Paper Arts & Crafts: posters

Now, go and cut some paper!


  1. Great post Ward. Thanks for sharing. These are really cool. Just look at all those well considered shapes to build those forms. The Shoes on the boy on the cube are just marvelous in their simplicity. Reminds me of Alain Gree... but I not sure it's him.


  2. I thought it was Alan's work, as well, but now I'm not too sure. If anybody knows, give me a holler.

    Oh, and thanks for visiting, Steve. Your work is top-notch.

  3. Great find!! I'm envious.

  4. Great job, Ward! It's great to see some major discoveries which are now overlooked by newer generations these days. Keep up the good work, someday someone will respect (whoever this artist is)'s artworks and even considering turning Ward-O-Matic into a 'four-legged history book' that never tires!

    - Glen!

  5. Thanks for your comments, Glen! Always nice to hear what you have to say. And yes, I do hope to find out who the artist is on this booklet/magazine thingy. They did such a great job, it pains me to see no credit given.

  6. Ahem...Okay...I confess; *I* did the illustrations (Darn publisher not giving me a credit line! #$%#*)...I know; my style's changed a bit since then. Gotta stay hip to what's happening, ya know...What? Yes, OF COURSE I was alive in the late 50's!...How old? Didn't your mother teach you NOT to ask a lady that question? WHAT??!! Are YOU calling ME a LIAR!????...

    ......Oh man I'm going to regret hitting the 'publish' key...

    Sorry, Ward. It won't hurt my feelings if you delete this'un. It IS 3 a.m. and I'm a bit punchy-wunchy. Please forgive a dear old lady... :)

  7. My first thought was that this was Alain Gree too. BUT, the faces don't quite seem to read the same shape as Gree usually has. Then I thought it might be Sunny B. Cook...but I doubt that too. Hmmm...we must get to the bottom of this!!!! The images are super cool. Great find. Me=jealous!

  8. I'm really loving the fish-shaped kite and 'mobile' letters. so good that your fantastic stash of ephemera is going to be shared with many.

  9. i love these illustrations, how fun

  10. Freddy Moore?

  11. Good call, anonymous, but there are several factors that come into play here that prove that Freddie was not the illustrator. First of all, he never did illustrations for publications like these. Plus, his style was more curvy and lush than the stylized characters depicted here. Lastly, he died in 1952, and I believe that this booklet was produced in the late-50's.

    I have a textbook that has illustrations very similar to what is shown here. Once I find it, I'll compare to see if it is, indeed, the same artist. Stay tuned.

  12. It kinda reminds me of the work of Mary Blair.

  13. Hi

    The illustrations were done by Charley Harper


  14. awesom pics. They remind me of illustrations used when I was in school. (Elementary) 1962 so they are probably from the late 50's as you say. Blast from the past.

  15. Ron, I'm a big Charley Harper fan and I'm quite sure that these illos are not by him, although he's a good guess. Harper's characters were definitely stylized like these at that time, but were not so cartoonish. His style was/is more sophisticated, I would say. Thanks for the imput, though.

    As I mentioned in an earlier comment, I found that textbook with illustrations similar to these here, and it looks like the artist might be the guy, but I want to do some more research about the artist to make sure it's him.

  16. beautiful stuff...i am getting my safety scissors out of storage as we speak.

  17. We had this book when I was a kid! I remember the drawings, and specifically remember the fish kite going off the top of the page.

    My mom was an elementary school teacher, so we had all kinds of crap around, but I do fondly remember this book. My sister and I used to do the projects in it.

  18. My wife has a book that her mother gave her, entitled "Betty Crocker's Parties for Children" (published by Golden Press in 1964). The illustrations in it remind me of these, although they are slightly more detailed. The credited illustrators are Judy and Barry Martin.

  19. I was wondering if anyone on this site knows anything about Sunny B. Cook. I really love his style of illustration, Is he still alive? Did he ever get any noteriety ? I know of 2 childrens books that he illustrated, Did he do many more?


  20. My guess would be early/mid 60's rather than late 50's. Look at the female styles - the girls' hairdos in the illustrations, and the cover woman's slightly looser hairstyle and streamlined dress design. Also, that fish kite. I was born in '63 and have materials of my mom's that look exactly like this and are dated from that time, while her 50's memorabilia (she was an art student) looks tighter and less flowing.