Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Illustrations from the Past

I was going through some of my cookbooks recently and came across this cookbook I gave my daughter when she was around eight years old.

I don't remember us using the cookbook much, but as I thumbed through it, I discovered some of the most beautiful illustrations I've ever seen. They were done in pastel "jewel-tones," colors, and have a richness about them that, I'm sure, was not easy to achieve. They were created by Ellen A. Nelson, and I liked them so much I wanted to share them.

After trying, unsuccessfully, to contact the publisher (Red Farm Studio), to obtain permission to use the pictures, I also tried to contact the illustrator, Ellen Nelson. Unfortunately, the only information I could find on Mrs. Nelson indicated that she founded the Red Farm Studio, a greeting card company, after her friends received hand-painted Christmas cards from her and persuaded her to go into business. I also found an obituary in The Boston Globe dated July 2002, indicating that Mrs. Nelson died June 30, 2002, at the age of 94.

If anyone in Mrs. Nelson's family happens to see this post, I hope they will be pleased that I wanted to share her lovely illustrations. If not, I'll be glad to remove them immediately.

I'm sure you will agree that they are truly works of art and she was a very gifted and talented lady.

You can click on the pictures to enlarge them, if you'd like.

This is my favorite ...

Another favorite
(I guess when you get right down to it, they're all my favorite)

I hope you enjoyed seeing these beautiful pictures. I wish I had discovered them years ago, because I know I would have loved Mrs. Nelson's greeting cards, too.


Janie said...

The illustrations are lovely. Thank you for sharing them - so sweet and innocent - unlike much in the world today. Anyone who draws like that probably has a wonderful family who be glad that you honored their mother. I certainly appreciate your offering today as always.

racheld said...

Oh, Janie!!

These are as charming as dear Miss Beatrix' illustrations, and I'm so glad you're sharing!!

I especially love the picnic---I think I got my cooking/catering beginnings just looking at pretty illustrations---even the Heckle and Jeckle picnics, which always included a wine bottle, a roast chicken or ham, and a basket of fruit.

The incongruous spill of way more bounty than would fit into the containers for carrying only adds to the magical charm.

Thank you, thank you, for this lovely bright addition to my morning!!


Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

Her work is just beautiful, so bright and innocent, it takes you back to a different place and time.
Thanks for sharing.

Happy@Home said...

I have this very same cookbook and just love the beautiful illustrations. I bought it many years ago, partly because my name is Kim. I didn't know about Mrs. Nelson, but I do remember buying some cards and note cards that were put out by the Red Farm Studio.

John e said...

Your "Southern Lagniappe" brings light to me today. Thanks for sharing this beauty. John e ♥

Linda said...

They are really lovely and so sweet. Thank you for sharing! Maybe someone will send you some of her cards!

100% Pure said...

Have the Kim's book, and just acquired the 1951 A World of Good Eating...Recipes From Around the World, also beautifully illustrated by Nelson, who, according to the Foreword, also contributed the Scandinavian recipes.

WEliza said...

I am so glad to find your post! I received this cookbook from my grandmother when I was 7---40 years ago. I used it all through growing up as have our four children. In fact, I just made flap jacks for breakfast. Nit always made me happy when and illustration was visible along with the recipe I was using!