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Ava Weiss Collection of Art

Identifier: CLRC-2363

Scope and Contents

The collection contains paintings, drawings, and sketches given to Greenwillow Art Director Ava Weiss by various illustrators, many of which are inscribed by the artists to Weiss. The items had been framed by Weiss and displayed on her walls. The collection also holds several historical pieces, including an engraving by Philip (or Philips) Galle after a work by Stradanus of a hunting scene with dogs attacking several boars, from circa 1570, which someone had hand-painted, as well as an undated Persian folio from Zād al-Maʿād, a 17th century Shi'ite religious text by Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi.

Reference source:

"Hunting: dogs baiting a boar in the foreground..." Online catalogue. Wellcome Collection. London, UK. Accessed September 2023.


  • Creation: circa 1570-2001


Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

Ava (Morgenstern) Weiss was born in 1925 in Vienna, Austria. After the German annexation of Austria in 1938, the family relocated to the United States to escape the Nazi persecution of the Jews. She earned a scholarship to Cooper Union, where she studied commercial art and illustration, graduated in 1947. She initially worked as a freelance illustrator, before joining Macmillan as art director for children's books. She worked there until 1974, after which she joined several other former Macmillan colleagues in establishing the Greenwillow Books division at William Morrow, where she served as art director until 2001. Weiss was married to Al Weiss, with whom she had two children, John and Andrew. Weiss died November 25, 2020, at the age of 95.

Biographical Source:

Maughan, Shannon. "Obituary: Ava Weiss." Publisher's Weekly. 10 December 2020.


.23 Cubic Feet (1 flat box)

Language of Materials






The Ava Weiss collection of art primarily consists of artwork and sketches given to Weiss by various children's book illustrators. The collection also contain a historical print and a manuscript, as well as various greeting cards.


The collection guide is arranged alphabetically by illustrator name, with historical items, greeting cards, and an unidentified piece of art at the end.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the estate of Ava Weiss.

Ava Weiss collection of art, circa 1570-2001
Caitlin Marineau
September 2023
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area

Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library