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Margot Zemach Collection

 Collection
Identifier: CLRC-85

Scope and Contents

The collection contains production material for thirty-two titles published between 1959 and 1985, as well as production material for two unpublished titles. The collection includes illustrations done in a variety of media many with separations, sketches and studies, dummies many with typescript or text proof, photostats, paste-ups, and proofs. There is also some correspondence and manuscript material for two works adapted and illustrated by Margot Zemach.

Dates

  • 1959-1985

Creator

Language of Materials

English

Access and Use:

Collection is open for researchers with no restrictions. Registration with the collection is required.

Copyright:

This collection is 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.

Biographical Sketch

Margot Zemach was born November 30, 1931 in Los Angeles, California. She attended various art schools in California and studied on a Fulbright Scholarship at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts in 1955-1956. Margot Zemach married Harvey Fichstrom in 1957; they had four daughters including Kaethe who would later become an author and illustrator of children's books. Harvey Fichstrom, under the pseudonym Harve Zemach, authored many of the books Margot Zemach illustrated beginning with Small Boy Is Listeningin 1959. The story drew on the Zemachs' experiences in Vienna and their knowledge of the city. The Zemachs collaborated on a number of children's books including Duffy and the Devil : A Cornish Tale, a retelling of a Cornish folk tale that won Margot Zemach the Caldecott Award in 1974. Margot Zemach also received Caldecott Honor citations for The Judge : An Untrue Taleand It Could Always Be Worse. Both stories drew on her love for folk tales, particularly those of Eastern Europe and the Yiddish tradition. Throughout her career, Margot Zemach illustrated and/or adapted a number of European folk tales, as well as some stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer. Critics have cited her work for its attention to detail and ability to "make things real", sense of motion, and how the "narrative pacing of her illustrations never flagged." Margot Zemach noted that she respected "draftsmanship... and the tradition of fine drawing" and wanted to "join [the] exacting standards of drawing with the wit and fantasy so necessary in children's books." She worked in a variety of media including ink and watercolor, often drawing the same page over and over to get it right. Margot Zemach received the 1979 Kerlan Award for her contributions to children's literature, and died on May 21, 1989 in Berkeley, California.

Extent

11 Cubic Feet

Abstract

Margot Zemach's papers focus on her work as an illustrator of children's books. The collection contains production material for thirty-two titles published between 1959-1985, as well as two unpublished titles. It includes illustrations done in a variety of media many with separations, studies and sketches done in a variety of media, dummies many with typescript or text proof, photostats, paste-ups, and proofs. There is also some manuscript material for two works adapted and illustrated by Margot Zemach; the manuscript material includes correspondence, a corrected typescript with front matter, and a corrected galley proof.

Physical Location

See Detailed Descriptions for Each Title Item for Box Locations

Accession Information:

Part of this collection was originally given to Dr. Irvin Kerlan, who in turn donated his collection to the University of Minnesota.

Additional material was placed on permanent loan in the collection by Margot Zemach beginning in 1967 with material added during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s; the loan was later changed to a gift.

One file of materials containing correspondence and reviews for The Little Red Hen donated by the Ruth I. Gordon Revocable Trust.
Title
Margot Zemach Collection
Author
Christina Cowan; updated by Leslie Czechowski and Jim Eyer
Date
June 1996; December 2004
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area

Contact:
Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library