Charley Harper Illustrations – Tin Lizzie book

Charles Harper (1922- 2007) was an extremely gifted illustrator who drew his prime work from the late 40s throughout the 60s. If you have old copies of Ford Times from these years, you’ll see many of his charming wildlife bird and rural scene drawings throughout many issues. In 1955 he teamed up with famous author Philip Van Doren Stern on the amazing book “Tin Lizzie- The Story of the Fabulous Model T”. Stern had previously written “The Greatest Gift” in 1943, which inspired the Christmas classic film “It’s a Wonderful Life” a few years later.

Getting back to Mr. Harper, the renderings in this old book are so inviting and charming in their bold simplicity. He only uses two colors- a dark peach and pure black- for the art, letting the linework and flat shapes tell the story. Charley has an amazing way of using the minimum number of lines to convey action, personality, and context. I wasn’t able to scan these in, so pardon for the poor photographs. If you come across a copy of this book I really suggest you pick it up to enjoy all of of the great illustrations, and for the story of the Model T, of course!

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