Cotsen Children’s Library Receives the 2015 Carle Honors Angel Award!


An angel from a manuscript copybook of arithmetic problems (1715-16) by fourteen- year-old John Binford of Devon, Cotsen 46473, p. 8.

Corinna Cotsen (left); Andrea Immel (right)

Corinna Cotsen (at the podium); Andrea Immel (to her left) accepting the Carle Angel Award.

September 24th at the 10th Annual Carle Honors Princeton’s Cotsen Children’s Library was named an “Angel” for its efforts to raise awareness of the picture book as art form and influence in the wider culture. The Carle Honors Awards celebrate individuals and institutions whose creative vision and dedication are an inspiration to everyone who values pictures books and their role in arts education and literacy.  The annual awards are selected by a committee chaired by Leonard S. Marcus, founder of the Honors, and recognize achievement in four areas:

  • Artist, for lifelong innovation in the field;
  • Mentor, editors, designers, and educators who champion the art form;
  • Angel, whose generous resources are crucial to making picture book art exhibitions, education programs and related projects a reality;
  • Bridge,  individuals who have found inspired ways to bring the art of the picture book to larger audiences through work in other fields.
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Detail from p. 110


The other 2015 Carle Award winners were Helen Oxenbury (Artist), Neal Porter (Mentor) and Joan Bertin (Bridge).

More info on The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

The Cotsen Children’s Library was represented by its curator, Dr. Andrea Immel and Corinna Cotsen, the daughter of donor Lloyd E. Cotsen, ’50 and Emeritus Charter Trustee of Princeton University, Corinna is also an architect, artist, collector, and long-time board member of the Craft and Folk Arts Museum in Los Angeles.

Corinna thanked the Carle on behalf of her father, who was unable to attend the ceremony at Guastavino’s.  In sharing anecdotes about growing up in a household where both parents were book collectors, Corinna emphasized that her mother was an equal partner with her father in creating the family collection that became the Cotsen Children’s Library.

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Andrea offered the following thoughts:

I’d like to share a memory of Bobbie and Eric Carle, the guardian angels of the Carle Honors, whom we all wish could be here with us tonight.  When the Museum of Picture Book Art was still a gleam in the Carles’ eyes, they came to see the Cotsen gallery, which then housed an interactive exhibition whose centerpiece was a fourteen-foot-tall book.  I sensed that Bobbie and Eric were going to strike out in a different direction in pursuit of their dream and I thought more power to them!  Their visit and subsequent ones from Nick Clark sparked a sense of kinship between our two institutions, which share a mission to promote the picture book genre through public programs, exhibitions, and publications.  The Carle accentuates the contemporary, the Cotsen Children’s Library the historical because of its rich collection of illustrated materials for children in all formats from around the world and across time.  Because of Mr. Cotsen’s inspired and voracious buying, the research collection offers the general public and scholars many ways to discover why the picture book is a major form of the illustrated book, with enormous potential for shaping the values that mold minds through the power of word and image.  That goes for big people as well as little ones!  Thank you for this vote of confidence in the work Team Cotsen has done over the last seventeen years.  From the outreach coordinator to the rare books cataloger, from the graphic designer to the gallery fabricator, we have experienced nothing but joy in realizing our angel Mr. Cotsen’s vision of a living library at Princeton–and we’re not about to stop.

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While there wasn’t enough time at the ceremony to individually thank all of Team Cotsen’s angels, here is a roster of their names.  They all earned their wings through  hard work, creativity, and can-do attitude.

Mark Argetsinger, Jeffrey Barton, Judson Beaumont, Bonnie Bernstein, James Bradberry, Minjie Chen, Ian Dooley, Carolyn Hoeschele, Eric Johnson, Miriam Jankewicz, Isabella Palowich, Aaron Pickett, Daniel Rooker, Heather Shannon, Dana Sheridan, Henry Smith-Miller, Emily Strayer, Eduardo Tennenbaum, IvyTrent.

And we couldn’t have done it without the contributions of the many talented Princeton student assistants and wonderful part-time project staffers in Cotsen West over the years.

Last but not least, a special thanks to the University Librarian Karin Trainer and Associate University Librarians for Rare Books and Special Collections, William Joyce, Ben Primer, and Stephen Ferguson for their support of the flight plan for the Cotsen Children’s Library.

If you want to see more Cotsen / Carle collaboration, check out this blog post from our outreach blog about a program that Dr. Dana was invited to do at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

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Curator’s Choice: GRRRRL gets Busy on The Flapper’s Magazette


According to Ellen Welles Page, brains, not beauty, defined the flapper.  In her “A Flapper’s Appeal to Parents” in the December 6, 1922 Outlook Magazine, she asked, “I wonder if it ever occurred to any of you that it required brains to become and remain a successful flapper?  Indeed it does!  It requires an enormous amount of cleverness and energy to keep going at the proper pace.  It requires self-knowledge and self-analysis.  We must know our capabilities and limitations.  We must be constantly on the alert.  Attainment of flapperhood is a big and serious undertaking!”


Readers of Flapper were constantly encouraged to enter mail-in beauty contests, serious undertakings that required brains, self-knowledge, and self-analysis to chose the right photo because the magazine’s editors would not go so far as to say that aspirants for the title of “most typical flapper in America” should rock “bobbed hair; powder and rouge on the face;…lip stick; ‘plucked eyebrows;’ low-cut sleeveless bodice; absence of corset; little under-clothing, often only a ‘teddy-bear;’ high skirts, and ‘roll-your-own-stockings.”  But the enterprising girl with a great look just might “win a nice little wad of pin money and get a real opportunity in the movies.”

flapper beauty contest 2 flapper beauty contest

Little girls were avid readers of Flapper too, according to the editors.  The sharp-eyed reader may notice that Pauline Z. is enjoying Flapper Experience–Flapper under a new title…

little flapper

This is probably not just editorial wishful thinking,  because Cotsen has one issue of a manuscript magazine (probably the first and last) written, illustrated and hand-lettered by a British girl in the 1920s that simultaneously imitates and sends up magazines for thoroughly modern Millies like Flapper.


Our editor could mimic Flapper’s fashionably breezy and girly style when she wanted her sister-readers’ opinion of the magazine’s title.  But in the next sentence she could turn bossy because it was time to solicit entries for that exciting new contest!

flapper's magazette_editors_chat

To fill out the double page spread where “Editor’s Chat” appeared, she devised an unillustrated advertisement for an imaginary beauty product.  The reader has to flip back to page 8 to see the wonders it could work on dark hair.  It’s the girl’s obvious pleasure in talking back to contemporary images of female beauty that reminds me of today’s girl zines.

flapper's magazette_editors_chat_2 flappers magazette_girl_in_purple

The editor of The Flapper’s Magazette  didn’t leave behind many clues as to her identity, besides some potshots about a sister with gentleman callers that suggest she could have been someone’s pesky younger sibling.  Most of the illustrations she signed  “V. F.” or “V. F. F.,” but the one on the third page she wrote out her last name “Furniss.”   The address of the editorial offices: “Messrs, Vivie, Wivie, Den Offices, Teddington” suggests that her first name might have been “Vivien.”  While it’s true that children’s manuscript magazines often are collaborative projects, “Vivie, Wivie” seems just as likely to be a silly play on a two-syllable given name, as a disguise for two children.  The address may also be a clue that Miss V. F. Furniss lived in Teddington in London’s Richmond upon Thames district.


Mail-in contests certainly made an impression on our editor.  She invites her readers to vie for fine prizes (no specifics given) by submitting heads constructed from the  noses, eyebrows, Betty-Boop eyes, and bee-stung lips to be cut out of pages 10 and 15.

flapper's_magazette_heads_contest_pieces_1 flapper's_ magazette_heads_contest_pieces_2

Contestants might have wished that there were a bigger selection of hairstyles, hats, and collars.  As you can see from the picture below of Clara Bow and friends, it would have been difficult to come up with a really smart head from what Vivie Wivie provided!



The other contest sponsored by The Flapper’s Magazette was literary.  All contestants had to do was to complete a limerick about  It-Girl, Clara Bow, whose portrait appears on the facing page.


Look closely at “Clara Bow” and you’ll see a long braid draped over her arm.  I’d always assumed it was a row of buttons down the sleeve.  But in going through the manuscript this time to write about it, I realized that couldn’t be right and that V. F. Furniss may not have been drawing accurate pictures of fashionable girls.

flapper's magazette_clara_bow clara bow 2

But could flappers have long hair?  According to some very informative blogs and You-Tube videos about hair styles of the Roaring Twenties and how to recreate them, it’s a myth that all flappers had bobs.  Movie star Mary Pickford’s long luscious golden ringlets were also quite stylish.  But even if a girl’s parents  stormed that she would cut her hair over their dead bodies, the unfortunate fair had options.  It was possible with a little ingenuity and hair pins to achieve the look of short, curly hair, as you can see from this delightful video, based on an actual 1920s hairstyling manual.

My guess is that V. F. Furniss was too young to get permission to chop off her hair, but old enough to be interested in figuring out how she would present herself in the future.  While most of the girls she drew in The Flapper’s Magazette had bobs, at least three of them, including “The Charming Flapper,” had hair tucked under in faux bobs with long braids down the back.  Were her illustrations a safe way to experiment with different looks without taking the plunge?  While attracted to modern short styles, was she a little bit scared at the prospect  herself as a votary of fashion, sacrificing her long tresses on the goddess’ altar?

Maybe some day I’ll have some time to try and track down V. F. Furniss, girl journalist and cultural commentator…