W. HARRISON CADY (1877-1970), was "a man who saw things that were not there" said editor and owner of the old Life Magazine, John Ames, about this successful illustrator who depicted nature with great fidelity and imagination. Fantasy and friendly animals living in ethereal magical worlds became Cady's trademark and thus prompted his work on hundreds of book and newspaper pages, Old Mother West Wind and Peter Rabbit by Thornton W. Burgess in particular.

Incredibly detailed crosshatching and shading technique mold realism in Cady's fantastic world. Having received no formal art training, Walter Harrison Cady was introduced to art through an informal apprenticeship with a local painter, Parker Perkins, in his hometown of Gardner Massachusetts. On long hiking trips Cady learned to observe nature and depicted his subjects with that educated eye. Cady's practical art education came as a newspaper artist with the intense on the spot deadline training required by the trade at the turn of the century.

Cady was very prolific, illustrating for over 70 years for publications such as St. Nicholas, Saturday Evening Post, Ladie's Home Journal, Good Housekeeping and the Herald Tribune Syndicate. From personal and unfettered editorial commentary to depictions of fantasy forest worlds, Harrison Cady's work naturally typifies a distinctly American sensibility. -A.S.M.

[Comic book cover: Peter Rabbit Comics,#2 (Tendler Comics), 1948;
pen & ink, 15.5 x 11.5", not signed.]