This illustration is from American Treasuries of the Library of Congress, a 1933 gift of Mrs. Edward Penfield. You can find more examples of Penfield's work by searching the Internet. To my knowledge, the examples shown below are only available here. I've chosen these because the originals are in my possession and I admire his work so much. Edward Penfield was every bit as good a designer as he was an illustrator, which made him unique for his day. There were other very competent designers working at the same time for the same clients, but their illustrations were not up to the standards that Penfield set. There were great illustrators, too, and we shall see their work in later posts, but they did not design. He was also an art director, or art editor (Job descriptions were in their infancy then) who left the office, so to speak, to freelance. He was a teacher in his earlier years at the Art Student's League of New York, and in the last years of his life, President of the Society of Illustrators from 1921 to 1923. Unfortunately, he suffered a severe back injury from a fall in 1924 and died the following year. Certainly he was influenced by Japanese art in the way Henri Toulouse-Lautrec was, but less obviously so, in my opinion. I feel that it was in Penfield's nature to simplify and refine his work in his own way and from his own point of view. It is because of his extraordinary talents as both illustrator and designer that I begin this web log with his work. I hope you enjoy what you see, and will feel free to comment to ensure a continuing dialogue. Click on image to enlarge.