Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sheilah Beckett--THE GONDOLIERS

I was going to get to these later, but it's time for some color...

Sheilah Beckett illustrated a number of Golden Books that I remember seeing in the 60's and 70's but I had no idea her work went back as far as 1940. I discovered these in an edition of Gilbert & Sullivan stories illustrated for kids, at the Disney library and wouldn't rest until I got myself a copy. These are from THE GONDOLIERS, the other stories included THE MIKADO and HMS. PINAFORE.

She's got a great feel for color, design and decoration. I could never emulate this type of drawing, but I always enjoy looking at them. The figures feel a little like dancers and have very solid posing. I have more, dating right up until the 1980's so for people who are just seeing her work for the first time as well as longtime fans: enjoy! (click to enlarge)


Brian said...

I remember seeing that somewhere as a kid too. Please post more if you can.

Jon McNally said...

These're gorgeous. I'm not (consciously) familiar with Ms. Beckett's work, so I thank you for the introduction.

lotusgreen said...

i love her work so much. i have her 'twelve dancing princesses' (1954, though i don't know when i got it).

i am still so in love with it. same style as the top image here, but more elaborate.

i would love to see her mikado illustrations.

Will Finn said...


12 DANCING PRINCESSES is a great one, it's the first one i remember seeing, (i don't have a copy anymore tho).

I do have a copy of 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS which looks like it might have been done in the 1980's. the line is pencil but the colors and artwork are great.

i will publish some MIKADO soon. She also did HMS PINAFORE, but it isn't as good as the other two.

Stephen Worth said...

I just posted a great batch of scans of Sheilah Beckett illustrations for Twas The Night Before Christmas at the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive. She was a regular contributor to Coronet magazine, and I've got a box full of her stuff, along with Arthur Szyk, Salvador Dali, Stevan Dohanos, etc. I'll post more soon.

See ya

lotusgreen said...

thank you, will--i would really love that.

i just realized nocloo has a copy of alice b woodward's mikado illustrations. i had come across one image before, but her colors are so beautiful

unfortunately, my copy of 12 princesses isn't in very good shape.

pat_bud said...

Her work is great.

I fully restored a copy of the twelve dancing princesses for my wife (she was fond of this book, which belonged to her mother, when she was young).

Being french, it's of course the french version. I did a pdf file, and I can provide you with jpeg. I'd be delighted to find a way to print it as it was first printed in the 50's.

I would be really interested to see other artwork from this artist.


lotusgreen said...

i would love a copy of that

Sean Smith said...

My name is Sean Smith I am Sheilah Beckett's son
I just wanted to let you and all the other's who admire my mother's work know that she is still going strong at 95 and still drawing and also doing some of her work on the computer. She has a new series of Gillbert & Sullivan prints plus some other work available if anyone is interested she can be contacted through me
at ssscarrera87@aol.com
I am so glad you all enjoy her work.