Maiden Voyages: November 2021

(Last Updated On May 10, 2022)

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Facebook Page: For those of you familiar with our Facebook page, you will have noticed some neglect of late. The page was established as a way to stay in contact whenever the site is shut down. We have regained control over the page and are cleaning out some of the garbage that has accumulated. One of our associates, Matthew, is running it and I would like suggestions from readers on how we might make use of the page to create some synergy with Pigtails.

Parsons-Balthus Revelation: During my first visit to see Graham Ovenden in 2016, I experienced an information overload. One artist of note was Jacynth Parsons who was not only a skilled illustrator of children, but was for most of her career a child herself. And as an extra twist, Graham noticed some close similarities between the poses of Parsons’ figures and those of Balthus. Nowhere in Balthus’ biographies is Parsons ever credited but compelling evidence now demonstrates that she must have been a key influence. Upon Balthus’ death, Graham asked an associate to check the man’s studio for any books by Parsons that might have been used as a reference. Not only was a copy of a book called Ann’s Book (1929) found there but upon closer inspection, flecks of paint were found on some of the pages! I had hoped to write some kind of exposé at some point but I am delighted to learn that Alastair M. Johnston, a long-time friend of Graham’s, beat me to it. The article, ‘Was Balthus in Ann’s Room?’, is expected to be published sometime this month in The Book Collector. Although the full text is only available to subscribers, the publisher is planning to write a special article promoting the piece. I will keep readers posted and Johnston has also written another article on children’s book illustrations in 1810 to be published in the Spring.

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