A Spooky Happy Halloween to You!!!

30 10 2007


Spooks (Happy Halloween!!!)
Illustration by Mac Harshberger
Originally uploaded by Paula Wirth

Found the most lovely yellow and gold and black book, The Singing Crow and Other Poems, by Nathalia Crane. Another FOPAL find, of course.

The gorgeous yellow and black plates, and stylized black and white illustrations, are drawn by the amazing art deco artist Mac Harshberger. The book was published in 1926 by Albert & Charles Boni of New York.

I’ve just purchase a book online about this artist, Mac Harshberger: Art Deco Américain, from the The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco/California Palace of the Legion of Honor/Achenback Foundatin for Graphic Arts, 1986. You can bet I will see if I can see their holdings, next time I visit (I’m a member).

Here’s the poem, by Nathalia Crane, that accompanies this most excellent illustration.

SPOOKS

Oh, I went down to Framingham
To sit on a graveyard wall;
“If there be spooks,” I said to myself,
“I shall see them, one and all.”

I hugged the knee to still the heart,
My gaze on a tomb ‘neath a tree.
Down in the village the clock struck nine
But never a ghost did I see.

A boy passed by and his hair was red,
He paused by a sunken mound.
“How goes it with all the ghosts,” said he,
have you heard any walking around?”

Now the taunt was the sign of the boy’s disdain
For the study I did pursue.
So I took the hour to teach that lad
Of the things unseen but true.

I talked of howler, banshee, ghoul
The gristly and the lean.
I sat on that graveyard wall and told
of all the things I had never seen.

And suddenly a bat swung by
Two cats began to bawl,
And that red-haired boy walked off in haste
When I needed him most of all.

I lost a slipper as I fled―
I bumped against a post,
But nevertheless I knew I’d won
The secret of raising a ghost.

And the method is this―at least for a miss,
You must sit on a graveyard wall,
And talk of the things you never have seen
And you’ll see them, one and all.

See more illustrations from this beautiful book…

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4 responses

30 09 2009
Victoria Chick

I have a Mac Harshberger drawing but it is not Art Deco. It is signed and dated 1947. Looks like an illustration for as children’s publication to me. You can see it on my website. Do you know anything about his non Art Deco
work?

30 09 2009
Victoria Chick

I have a Mac Harshberger drawing but it is not Art Deco. It is signed and dated 1947. Looks like an illustration for a children’s publication to me. You can see it on my website. Do you know anything about his non Art Deco
work?

13 11 2010
Luis L Casas

Hi.
I have just found your blog and wish to thank you for such a nice site. I was glad to read the poem as I was already familiar with the artwork.
Does you book show Mac Harshberger´s work with two clowns on Penny-farthings? If it does, would it be too much asking if you would be kind enough to send me a picture of it? I would love to tmake a roman mosaic based on that image and the images I have come across are too small to blow up.
Many thanks in anticipation and once again congratulations for your blog.
I am based in Asturias, Northern Spain.
Luis

20 11 2011
Lew Jaffe

This week’s posting (11/20/2011) on my bookplate blog has additional information about Mac Harshberger
http://bookplatejunkie.blogspot.com

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