July 27, 2015
When I was last in Lewes I saw a copy of Virginia lee Burton’s The Little House on display in the window of a charity shop. Intrigued I asked to see it and subsequently bought it for four whole pounds. It’s a very battered and old (1946) copy but that does nothing to diminish the charm of the story and the illustrations. I didn’t know the book at all and so I did some research and discovered it won the prestigious Caldecott medal in 1943. The story is considered to deal with the issue of urban sprawl, although the author denied this, either way it is still as relevant today as when it was first published in 1942. It has also been questioned weather it was a reference for the wonderful Pixar film UP, and the actual little house story was turned into a Disney animation in 1952.
During my research I also discovered Virginia Lee Burton’s other creative endeavors, namely the Folly Cove designers. For one thing I love the name and I also love printing and vintage patterns so I was sold right away. I also like how nature is a strong theme in many of the designs and just the clever structures and excellent colour combinations. Despite being created by many different designers, all the folly cove designs have a distinctive hand that unites them and the designs have a real timeless quality to them. Here is a the wikipedia entry on them. I also came across the (currently closed) Sarah Elizabeth shop which is carrying on the Folly Cove legacy with a great range of printed products, I hope it reopens soon as I would love to get my hands on a little printed something or other. Below is a selection of Folly Cove designs, all images from the truely amazing resource of the Cape Ann museum.
All images from the Cape Ann museum