Her achievement was beauty, a delicate, fantastic beauty, created with brush and pencil . . . Perhaps it was the hardships of her own life that gave the young artist’ís work its fanciful quality. In the imaginative scenes she set down on paper she must have escaped from the harsh actualities of existence.
—From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sunday Magazine, July 5, 1931
A born artist, Virginia Frances Sterrett (American, 1900–1931) started to draw as soon as she could hold a pencil. Her short life was punctuated by tragedy—the death of her father, her mother’s poor health, and her own long struggle with tuberculosis. Despite these challenges, Sterrett completed several major commissions to illustrate oversize fairytale books, including Old French Fairy Tales, by Comtesse de Segu, and Tanglewood Tales, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Sterrett’s illustrations for Arabian Nights, edited by Hildegarde Hawthorne, were collectively considered her masterpiece; four of them—from a volume now held in the Library of Congress collections—are reproduced in this notecard assortment.
Contains five each of the following notecards:
“The Sultana held conversation with a man.” Illustration from “Scheherazade” in Arabian Nights
“Morgiana danced with much grace.” Illustration from “The History of Ali Baba . . .” in Arabian Nights
“The Princess had great beauty.” Illustration from “The Three Calendars” in Arabian Nights
“Alladin saluted her with joy.” Illustration from “The Story of Alladin, or the Wonderful Lamp” in Arabian Nights