Artist’s Book of Franklin Luke

It was morning. I was sitting in the local restaurant in Evanston with two gentlemen for business meeting. One of them, Mr. Bob Tanner, had one of the first artist’s book, printed in USA. The second was Mr. Stephen Murphy, an artist and photographer. At night, the rain stopped raining. So, it was beautiful sunny morning. I was eating American breakfast with ham, potatoes and half fried eggs with double espresso.

Mr. Bob Tanner with the book

After the breakfast, we cleaned the table, and Mr. Bob opened the book. It was the book “The Junk Yard Garden”. He said, it is illustrated book for children, created by Franklin Luke in 1958 and published by Institute of Design, Chicago. But it was not a book for children. It is an original artist’s book. Images on the pages created by graphic techniques, using colography, and letterpress for printing the text. Beautiful book.

What we know about artist? Nothing. Franklin Luke was studding in the Institute of Design, in Chicago. Later he was working for publishing houses.

We found few illustrated books for children by Franklin Luke. But, on my opinion they are not so interesting like “The Junk Yard Garden” printed 11 years ago. Even if we still see the style of Franklin, the illustrated books are beautiful, but more commercial.

Franklin Luke. 1968

“Fried Onions & Marshmallows: & Other Plays for Little People”. Author: Sally Melcher Jarvis, illustrated by Franklin Luke. Published by Parents’ Magazine Press in 1968.

Franklin Luke. 1969

“Did You Ever Dream?”. Author: Doris Herold Lund, illustrated by Franklin Luke. Published by Parents’ Magazine Press in 1969.

Franklin Luke. 1971

“The Crow the Kite and Golden Umbrella”. Author: Ann Tompert, illustrated by Franklin Luke. Published by Abelard-Schuman in 1971.


Kestutis Vasiliunas


© Photo: 2Cent.
© Artist’s Book Creators 2019