Sunday, September 26, 2010

Universal Bookplate Artists By Edith Anderson Rights

Two plates by unknown artist(s)


Three plates by Guzzardi

Three plates by Hitesman
Two below by Glen Sterling

Two plates by Winifred Bromhall

Mention was made in part 1 of several artists well known for their work with universal designs (Rockwell Kent, Lynd Kendall Ward, Bank B. Gordon, and Juanita Gould, to which can be added Benton Ferguson (see “Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie” for August 27, 2010) and Bruce Rogers. I am aware of seven other artists whose designs for universals commonly appear in bookplate collections: Winifred Bromhall, Hitesman, Hogeboom, Leslie Ivory, Glen Stirling, WOLO, and GVZ Zardi (or Gvzzardi). Information about these artists is not easily found.

Winifred Bromhall

Winifred Bromhall (early 20th C.) was born in England but, with her parents, came to the United States in the 1920s where she continued her career as illustrator of children’s books and eventually both wrote and illustrated numerous stories. So far I know she designed and signed seven children’s bookplates, although there may well be more that have not been discovered.

Glen Stirling

The early 20th Century artist Glen Stirling (probably a California resident about whom I know nothing) created at least nineteen universal designs. Eighteen of these designs are in the bookplate collection of the Los Angeles Public Library. The zodiac Leo is signed but not with the standard Stirling signature that appears on all his other bookplates.


The Ella Strong Dennison Library, Scripps College, has eleven designs by WOLO, one a bookplate for Louise Seymour Jones, another a promotional design for himself, the other nine were universals. The artist who signed himself WOLO was quite well known in California from the late 1920s until his death in 1989. He was a man as colorful and amusing as his bookplate critters. In the Hippo Cook Book of 1969 by San Francisco restaurateur Jack Falvey, and illustrated by WOLO, he is identified as Wolo von Trutzschler, the form he used in the United States that he had shortened from his German legal name, Baron Wolff Erhardt Anton Georg Trutzschler von Falkenstein.
He was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1902 and was educated in Switzerland. He came to the US in 1922 to study agriculture at the University of Wisconsin as an exchange student. Five years later, following a time in Chicago, he was in Los Angeles and paid by Edgar Bergen for a drawing that became the puppet Mortimer Snerd. Later in San Francisco he worked as a newspaper columnist and caricaturist, as a puppeteer and entertainer, as a muralist for several institutions, and as author-illustrator of six children’s books (Friendship Valley, Amanda, The Children’s Music Box, Sir Archibald, Tweedles Be Brave, and The Secret Life of the Ancient Oak) for the publishing house William Morrow and Company.
In the online website entitled ‘Official Wolo homepage’ posted by WOLO’s son there are nine links to his art work that also included greeting cards, bottle caps, and postcards. Only one bookplate design appears – as the first item in the miscellaneous category.


Hogeboom (early 20th C.) designed at least four universal bookplates, and I have seen two others that were probably commissioned designs. Although I have seen numerous multiples of his universal designs, my collection does not have them all.


I have found nothing about Hitesman (late 20th C.) but have prints of four designs which he signed. While the most frequently seen is his blue cat, his other intriguing designs are certain to delight both children and adults.

Leslie Ivory

I have seen only one universal bookplate by Ivory, Leslie (late 20th C.) an English woman who was well known in the 1990s for her elaborate designs of cats and rugs, used in a variety of commercial forms – as calendars, lap desks.

Guzzardi (the standard spelling) is another of the early 20th Century universal bookplate artists to be discussed here and he remains something of a puzzle. He used two different styles of signature 1) a stylized spade shield inscribed with either GVZ / Zardi (also with xx9), or only the initial G; or 2) only the name Gvzzardi as one word. There was an Italian artist Giuseppe Guzzardi, a painter of history and genre who lived from 1845 until 1914, who exhibited in New York, but whether this is the bookplate artist has not been documented.

Unknown Artist(s)

Two bookplate designs continue to tease my curiosity, especially since I have two prints of each, with different names. They have bright red and blue images, stylized figures, but are rather dissimilar in artistic style. Were they done by one artist or two? Were they from different decades? Does anyone’s collection have bookplates with these same names? Does anyone have other bookplate designs that resemble either of these two bookplates? My search goes on – and on – and on!!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I want to thank Edith Anderson Rights for submitting this article. All submissions to this weekly endeavor are appreciated. See you next Sunday

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