The What-You-May-Call-Ems. Lucretia Halsted Tieman.
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The What-You-May-Call-Ems.

[Likely Orlando, Florida, ca. 1960]. Unbound, 12” x 9”. Title leaf, 27 pp. on 27 ff. Presumed complete. Unbound manuscript of watercolor illustrations and holograph text, numbered in pencil in the upper right corner of each page. CONDITION: Very good, light dampstaining and bleeding of paint to title leaf; occasional light dampstaining to margins; light bump to upper corner of most leaves; minor edge wear.

A delightful unpublished manuscript of illustrated children's poetry by a noted Florida woman artist and arts-organizer centering on “what-you-may-call-ems”—fantastical creatures with names like the Wip-an-gee, Tottle-Ott, Go-Go Bird, Mug-Wumpus, and so forth.

Each page of this book is devoted to one creature and features a short, whimsical poem followed by an illustration of the creature in its natural habitat, usually doing something mentioned in the poem. For instance, the brilliantly-colored birdlike Wip-an-gee struts across the page (”The Wip-an-gee sings / And is proud of his wings / As you can tell by his air and his stride”), while the Tottle-ott (“Teeter, totter,—totter, teeter, / Back and forth goes he!”) wobbles on the branch of a tree, and the clumsy Blaff (“He's ridiculously chubby, / Round and tubby, / And totally, happily daft!”) chortles merrily on a patch of grass. Although some of the creatures resemble real animals, all are inventive and unique.

Born in Brooklyn and educated at the Art Students’ League, artist Lucretia “Lou” Halsted Tieman (1891–1982) moved to Orlando, Florida in 1910 where she quickly became an important early leader of Orlando’s nascent art community. Involved in various arts organizations, she helped found the Loch Haven Art Center (today’s Orlando Museum of Art). Tieman’s early efforts included opening an art gallery and tea-room in Orlando, and she began teaching art at Rollins College and Orlando’s Cathedral School for Girls. From 1919 to 1929, she served as superintendent of the Art Department of the Central Florida, Sub-Tropical Mid-Winter Fair. In 1924 she co-organized the Orlando Art Association and was elected its first president. In 1927, a group of Orlando and Gainesville women met at Tieman’s home in Merritt Park to found the Florida Federation of Art (see photo here, via University of Florida). In 1930 the Orlando Sentinel called her “one of the foremost instigators of art development in Florida and particularly ‘The City Beautiful.’” In the early 1950s she married Charles Tieman and began exhibiting as Lu Tieman. She maintained a studio in downtown Orlando for over twenty years.

Of the title offered here, we find no record whatsoever, and it seems likely that it was either a personal project or one that simply never found a publisher.

A charming illustrated manuscript by a noted Orlando, Florida artist.

REFERENCES: Frankel, Alfred Robert. The Artists of Old Florida 1840–1960 (2012); Frankel, Fred. Jerome, Lucretia Halsted—Orlando at artistsofoldflorida.com; Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, FL, October 19, 1930).

Item #6730

Price: $2,500.00

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