Monday, October 20, 2014

Ralph Lavers illustrates Redskin Morning by Joan Grant

These are the colour plate illustrations for a book of stories with folkloric Native American settings called Redskin Morning and Other Stories by Joan Grant (Methuen, London: 1944). Normally, when I blog about a book which has both colour and black and white illustrations, it is immediately clear to me which of the two I prefer from that particular artist. Not so in this case and I shall show off some of the black and white work in another post. 

Joan Grant was a curious character who was catapulted to literary fame by her 1937 novel, The Winged Pharaoh,  which was rapturously received by literary critics across the world, a story set in Ancient Egypt. She later claimed that this novel and her other stories in historical settings were, in fact, "far memories" of lives she had actually lived. 

I can find nothing more of Ralph Lavers, the artist, in any of my reference books, although there are at least three or four books available (including another by Joan Grant) which list him as the illustrator. Is it possible he was the architect who designed the Olympic Torch for the 1948 London games? Whoever he was these are some delightfully stylized and colourful illustrations with more to follow of his black and white work in this same book.

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