|Five of Gustaf Tenggren's illustrations for the
Little Golden Book "Little Black Sambo", Simon & Schuster 1948.
In the autumn of 2013 I visited Kerlan Collection at the Children's Literature Research Collection in University of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
I was doing research for my biography on Gustaf Tenggren and spent a week browsing thru some fifty crates of original Tenggren artwork. I was happy to learn that the paintings for almost every book were present in the folders respectively.
But when I came to the box containing Little Black Sambo, to my great disappointment I noticed that a number of the most important illustrations, including the wonderful cover, were gone.
So my feelings were mixed as I found out that the missing illustrations are featured at an auction by Leslie Hindman's auctioneers. I'm glad to see them alive and seemingly well preserved, but sorry that they have gone extracted from the Collection, probably while they were still in the custody of Gustaf's spouse, Mollie Tenggren.
Tenggren's version of this not uncontroversial minor classic from 1899 by missionary Helen Bannerman, was published as a Little Golden Book by Simon & Schuster in 1948. Nowadays it has since long gone out of print. Despite the content, the paintings are among Tenggren's foremost in the row of 13 Little Golden Books he made from 1942 to 1962. A true gem!