Monday, December 05, 2005

Harry McNaught's Oz

In a trio of Little Golden Books from 1952, the stories of L. Frank Baum's Oz series were vividly brought to life by illustrator Harry McNaught. The Emerald City of Oz, The Road to Oz, and The Tin Woodman of Oz offer McNaught's whimsically modern take on these classic tales. Unfortunately, the only other children's books by McNaught from this period that I've come across are educational science books and the like. Stylistically, nothing like the playful warmth and humor of the Oz Little Golden Books. It's a shame because I think this work is on a par with the best that I've seen from this period in children's book illustration.

True to form, Leif Peng of Today's Inspiration inspired this post with his flickr set from The Emerald City of Oz at The Retro Kid. Seeing his post brought my attention back to these books and caused me to re-discover their quality. There are more scans from the other two books at my flickr page for Harry McNaught.

~ I'd like to send a big thanks out to Amid Amidi at Cartoon Brew, and to my Retro Kid pal Ward Jenkins at The Ward-O-Matic for their support of this blog. Thanks for the mentions guys! ~

The Road to Oz

The Road to Oz

The Emerald City of Oz - courtesy Leif Peng

The Emerald City of Oz - courtesy Leif Peng

The Tin Woodman of Oz

The Road to Oz
-- click on images for larger view


Blogger Ward Jenkins said...

Some great images here, Eric. Thanks for compiling them together (along with Leif's scans too) for us to enjoy and be inspired. It's a shame that Harry didn't do more children's books at the time. He had a real knack for it.

12/06/2005 9:45 AM  
Blogger Perry Linton Joseph Osuna said...

This blog has so much bright and beautiful artwork and the colours. it's hard to leave must come back keep posting

12/08/2005 3:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there, I would just like to fill you in on some details about Harry Mcnaught. He is a distant relative to my family (his cousin married my Grandpa's sister). I have never met him and this info is only what my Grampa and his brother-in-law have told me.

The reason you havent found more work like this by him is probably because he did a lot of work whereby his name isnt included in the books. As far as I know he did some illustration work for Disney and Hannah-Barbera which doesnt have his name on it. (I am not sure what he did).

I myself have only seen one of his books my parents have (on birds), which is different to this style, so im glad I found this page as I love this era of design and illustration! Thanks for sharing and I hope you found this information interesting. If I find out anymore I will try and post some stuff for you all.


4/13/2006 10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still have my edition of Time and Measuring-- one of the science books he did. I wish McNaught had done more illustrations of that type - heavy ink outlines with vibrant loose coloring inside the shapes. I bring that book out again and again -- it has been a huge inspiration for me. Thank you Mr. McNaught!!

7/26/2009 12:27 PM  

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