January 7, 2017

Maginel Wright (Enright) Barney, Artist

It's time again to feature a classic fairy tale/fairy artist. Today it's Maginel Wright (Enright) Barney. 

Maginel was born in 1881, and christened as Maggie Nell, but her name was contracted Maginel. She was the younger sister of nine other than Frank Lloyd Wright. Married twice, you can find her work under Maginel Wright Engel or Maginel Wright Barney. She was also the mother to Newberry Award winner and writer and illustrator Elizabeth Wright Enright. 

But enough about the rest of her family. Maginel was a highly successful and well regarded children's illustrator in her own time. She illustrated books by L. Frank Baum, not Oz books, though. But Baum wrote the delightfully titled Policeman Bluejay, which Maginel did illustrate. 

She also illustrated Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates, as well as Heidi. She illustrated countless times for magazines and during her entire career, illustrated 63 books. She died in 1966.

Her use of color is exquisite, and the lines of her figures and scenery are clearly delineated without being harsh. She seems to have had a strong understanding of what kids wanted to see in their books. No wonder her illustrations are popular on Pinterest.

Below are Mermaid's Gift, Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates, "The Fairy Artist," and Farm and Fireside. The illustration at top is from Myself and I