Friday, January 21, 2022

Illustrations by Theodore Diedricksen, Jr. for There's Pippins and Cheese To Come by Charles S. Brooks

I saw this book,  There's Pippins and Cheese To Come by Charles S. Brooks, at a secondhand shop. I paged through it and made a note of the illustrator, Theodore Diedricksen, Jr. -- whose art I liked. 

I liked the noodling and the general looseness in this. There's an exciting combo of accuracy and sloppiness in the crosshatching. Diedricksen was very confident in these drawings. I had not heard of him. So ... I left the book on the shelf, and drove home to Google him.

That was a mistake.

If I had known that Google had so little on him, I would have bought the book then and there. There are a couple of paintings I saw, but no illustrations. I found out that Theodore Diedricksen, Jr. (1884/5 - 1967) was associated with Yale, and did a lot of drawings of the campus buildings. But I didn't see any of his drawings online, at least nothing to compare to these. Why I didn't just check my phone when I was there in the first place, I don't know. Anyway, I drove back to the secondhand shop in Freedom, NH and bought the book to share his work here. 

Theodore Diedricksen, Jr. was a professor of art at Yale. I found his great grandson online, Derek Diedricksen, who has a number of amazing blogs here

I have scanned in most of the drawings from There's Pippins and Cheese To Come by Charles S. Brooks, copyright 1917 the Yale University Press. This is a collection is Mr. Brooks' essays that originally appeared in The Yale Review of the New Republic. These are all spot illustrations and chapter headings by Diedricksen. You can see he was a proficient letterer as well.

Here's a typical header. Look at the interplay of shadow, light and the clutter of an early 20th century man cave.

The slight exaggeration of the frown and eyebrows makes this "The Aspirations of the Early British Reviewers" heading illustration fun. The lettering, going from white to black, is a unique touch. I believe that we are seeing Diedricksen's own lettering for the first words of these chapters as well. Wow. By right-clicking, and opening these in a new window, you can blow all of these up and really eyeball 's painterly crosshatching.

Here is Mr. Brooks ruminating on Pepys' diaries.

The play of light and shadow here is fun. The cat, while on-form, is still stylized (even a little cartoony looking) and, in a lovely touch, slightly swaying to the lute music.

Charles S. Brooks, another Yalie, is a writer who produced books (This is the fifth printing of There's Pippins and Cheese To Come), essays and plays during his life. But he is so obscure as to not have a Wikipedia page.

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