Though I was very familiar with her visual work, I did not know the name of this American illustrator, Maginel Wright Enright, until doing research for June's illustrator birthday. And I was surprised to learn that she was the sister of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
|Women's Home Companion|
Enright was born on June 19, 1881, and died on April 18, 1966. She was a very productive illustrator, creating images for advertising...
...women's magazines...and educational publishers.
Her first venture into children's book illustration was for the series "The Twinkle Tales", which were written by Laura Bancroft.
|From "The Twinkle Tales"---I don't know which volume|
Laura Bancroft was in fact a pen name for Frank Baum, the author of "The Wizard of Oz" books! Another surprise as I researched this illustrator.
Enright's style matured as she went on to illustrate more than 60 books for children...
...including editions of "Hans Brinker, or, The Silver Skates"...
Not all of her work was done in full color. This piece was created with just 3 colors, black, orange, and blue---the use of limited color being the custom for much of illustration during her time. The 3 colors are used together in varying percentages to create a palette with a variety of hue and strength.
|An Enchanted Conversation|
Enright's work certainly reflects the illustration styles popular during the early 1900's...
|Babes In The Woods---created with just 2 colors, blue and black|
...the years when she was producing most of her work.
But Enright was no copyist or slave of fashion. Her work is strong, skillful, timeless, with a wonderful and easily recognized personality. Like many women artists, she is relatively unknown today. Let's honor her by looking for her illustrations as we browse used book stores, antique shops, and online auctions!