Illustrations Art Gallery

Harry Kennedy – Illustrations from L. Frank Baum Army Alphabet 1900

Harry Otis Kennedy was a Chicago graphic artist at the turn of the twentieth century. He illustrated Baum’s The Army Alphabet and The Navy Alphabet (both 1900), and also provided pictures for three stories in Baum’s American Fairy Tales (1901).

The success of Baum’s Father Goose in 1899 inspired a range of imitations. Kennedy worked on two of these: Jingleman Jack (1901), with James O’Dea; and Old Mother Hubbard (1902), with Charles Jerome Costello.

Lyman Frank Baum is an American author, famous for his The Wonderful Wizard of Oz series, one of the most well known children’s book in the world . The Army Alphabet was first published by Geo. M. Hill in 1900. This title and its companion The Navy Alphabet were issued to coincide with Chicago’s hosting the 34th Annual Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic in August 1900.

This clever military review in doggerel is shown from a little boy’s perspective. Some letters challenged Baum’s poetic invention, such as “X represents the Xalatan.” Although he supported the Spanish American War in 1898, Frank Baum later became a pacifist.. The illustrations was done by Harry Kennedy and text is hand-lettered by Charles Costello.

This is Baum in the early stages of his career and is one of his earliest books, published in the same year as his famous The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He wrote thirteen sequels to the Wizard of Oz and a plethora of other works during his long and prolific career.

Presenting the illustrations by Harry Kennedy for the Army Alphabet. First edition, published by Geo. M. Hill Company, Publishers, Chicago; New York, 1900..

Art Gallery: Harry Kennedy – L. Frank Baum’s Army Alphabet 1900

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