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It’s at the Kerlan: ‘The Little House’

By July 19, 2021July 27th, 2021The Kerlan Blog
The Little House, written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton; New York, Houghton Mifflin, 1942; Kerlan Collection, Children's Literature Research Collections, University of Minnesota Libraries

The Little House, written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton; New York, Houghton Mifflin, 1942; Kerlan Collection, Children’s Literature Research Collections, University of Minnesota Libraries.

Process art: pencil, tempera and watercolor on paper; Little House: spring; Kerlan Collection, University of Minnesota Libraries.

Process art: pencil, tempera and watercolor on paper; Little House: spring; Kerlan Collection, University of Minnesota Libraries.

Tempera paint is mixed with egg emulsion and is brightly saturated

Tempera is made of powdered pigment mixed with a gum arabic and egg emulsion. It has a high pigment load, giving it bright, saturated colors. Because tempera dries quickly, it is often used for flat blocks of color, similar to gouache, rather than being used for techniques involving gradations and transparency.

About Virginia Lee Burton

Virginia Lee Burton

Virginia Lee Burton, her friends called her Ginee, 1909–1968.

Virginia Lee Burton was the author and illustrator of classic picture books. The winner of the 1942 Caldecott Medal for The Little House, Burton’s books include heroes and happy endings, lively illustrations, and a dash of nostalgia.

She lived with her two sons, Aristides and Michael, and her husband George Demetrios, the sculptor, in a section of Gloucester, Massachusetts, called Folly Cove. Here she taught a class in design and from it emerged the Folly Cove designers, a group of internationally known professional artisans.

Virginia Lee Burton in her studio at Folly Cove.

Virginia Lee Burton in her studio at Folly Cove.

Support the Kerlan Endowed Chair

The Kerlan Collection is an internationally recognized children’s literature library and archive that from its beginnings has benefited from outstanding curators. Help keep the Kerlan in the forefront of children’s literature archives by donating to the Endowed Chair for the Kerlan Collection.

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Checks can be made out to:

Kerlan Collection Endowment /
UMF Fund #24053

Mailing Address:
University of Minnesota Foundation
P.O. Box 860266
Minneapolis, MN 55486-0266

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