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More than words alone…Treasures from the golden age of illustration.

And not just Treasure Island, but of course that’s there. In the book-case on the second floor of the Mather Homestead are six hardcover books illustrated by N.C. Wyeth, who is considered one of America’s greatest illustrators. According to Wikipedia, Treasure Island was one of his masterpieces and the proceeds paid for his studio.

From inscriptions on the flyleaves, we know that three of the books were given as Christmas gifts to John and Edward McPherson by a Mr. Robert Bridges, in years ranging from 1916 to 1928. John and Edward were twins and were born in 1906. Edward McPherson married Bertha Mather, Stephen Mather’s daughter.

The Wyeth-illustrated books include three R.L. Stevenson novels (Treasure Island, David Balfour, The Black Arrow). There is also Drums by James Boyd, The Scottish Chiefs by Jane Porter, and

Poems of American Patriotism by Brander Matthews.

This latter book, published in 1922, is a first edition and now highly sought after. In 2018, the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland Maine held a summer-long exhibition of Wyeth’s illustrations for Poems of American Patriotism.

In addition to N.C. Wyeth’s work, the bookshelf also contains Arabian Nights, published in 1909, and illustrated by Maxfield Parrish. And a first edition, Treasury of Heroes and Heroines, illustrated by Florence Choate and Elizabeth Curtis.

These illustrators all richly contributed to American art. These volumes now richly contribute to the “treasure island” that is the Mather Homestead.

Illustrations from top to bottom: N.C. Wyeth, Treasure Island; N.C.Wyeth, Drums; N.C. Wyeth, Poems of American Patriotism; Maxfield Parrish, Arabian Nights.

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