It's no secret I have a soft spot for obscure vintage children's book illustration, especially by famous artists or of famous works. Spotted on the lovely Vintage Kids' Books My Kids Love, here's a beautiful 1949 edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, illustrated by Leonard Weisgard -- only the second version of the Lewis Carroll classic, and the first with color illustrations. The vibrant, textured artwork exudes a certain mid-century boldness that makes it as much a timeless celebration of the beloved children's book as it is a time-capsule of bygone aesthetic from the golden age of illustration and graphic design.
Since its 1865 publication, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has seen publication in several dozen illustrated editions (and at least twenty films). Most people associate the initial publication of Alice with the John Tenniel illustrations that appeared in the first edition, and rightly so, but Carroll himself provided his own drawings in the manuscript of the book. Alice has always had a visual complement. The best editions adapt the story’s look to the contemporary zeitgeist. Arthur Rackham’s 1907 illustrations beautifully contain Edwardian-era elegance and foreboding. Leonard Weisgard’s 1949 illustrations certainly capture the post-war optimism and Technicolor designs of the period.