Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tasha Tudor


Gillian's blog, Reflections in the Afternoon, reminded me a few days ago that Tasha Tudor's birthday was today! There has been a concerted online effort to pay special tribute to Tasha's birthday this year, which seems to have been led by the delightful Story Book Woods .

Tasha Tudor is one of my favourite illustrators of all time, and I was saddened when I heard back in June that she'd passed away. She was an incredibly prolific artist, with a body of work covering more than half a century. Tudor received her first Caldecott Honor for Mother Goose in 1945, and her last book, Corgiville Christmas, was published in 2003.

Tudor was born in 1915, but the era she aspired to was one even earlier--the 1820s. I think it would be inappropriate to say that she was nostalgic for an earlier era. Webster defines nostalgia as "wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition." But Tasha Tudor did not just yearn for the past, she painstakenly recreated a world that reflected the best of the time period she loved so much. She reminded readers about the beautiful customs of the past and helped keep them alive through classics like A Time to Keep, which celebrated family holiday traditions. I think many of my family's most treasured holiday "traditions" were borrowed from this fabulous book.

For more information on Tasha Tudor, or to purchase her lovely books, I recommend a visit to Tasha Tudor and Family. The site, which is run by Tasha's family, is a treasure trove of her lovely work. You can even by some of her original sketches and paintings here! Alas, I'm usually reduced to window shopping, but it's a fabulous, regularly updated site with information on upcoming events in the New England area.

11 comments:

willow said...

Yes, she was a fabulous lady! Her books and illustrations are so very charming. I'm off to explore her family's site...

Happy Birthday, Tasha.

Melanie said...

Love her works.
Sorry I left a comment in the Vinci which should've been in the Waugh post.

I think when you love a certain time your love comes over in your works like Tasha Tudor's did.

Sheramy said...

There's a nice tribute in the new issue of Victoria.

Margaret said...

I did enjoy the article in Victoria, though I wish it had been longer! They had so many great articles on Tasha over the years in that magazine.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

What a treat to find these tributes to Tasha today. She was such an inspiration to me. I love the photo you have chosen to post.

Margaret said...

Thanks, Pamela! Tasha inspired so many people, both through her work and through her simple life style. I don't know what I would have done without her!

Bebe said...

Hi Margaret,
Great post about Tasha Tudor! She was always one of my favorite people and I loved it when Victoria would go to visit her at the cottage. I would adore owning one of her corgi drawings, so that is on my someday dream shopping list!
Lots of hugs, Bebe :)

Thorsprincess said...

Actually, the book--alas, now long out of print--that actually inspired our Christmas traditions was an earlier book that minutely described her family's preparations for Christmas throughout Advent--and even before that, beginning in November, after All Hallow's Eve--and ending with Christmas and the days following. I searched for the book for years without success. The book--I can't recall the name now-- was life-changing for us, and perfectly described the sort of Christmas we hoped to create in our own home with our children. As you suspected, the source of our long, drawn-out Christmas rituals was Tasha Tudor's description of her family Christmas--from the special holiday breakfast, followed by Christmas stocking opening, long dinner preparations, and carols and presents around the tree by evening candlelight--and a very late bedtime for all! We owe her great thanks for many years of lovely, long Christmas celebrations!
Maman

Margaret said...

Mom, we really do need to find out what the name of that book is--there are so many of the out of print books available on her family's website. I'm pretty sure we could get it if we tried again.

I had a sneaking suspicion that Tudor was responsible for a lot of our family traditions! She had such an amazing understanding of the beauty and importance of tradition. She's left such an amazing legacy through her books.

Barb said...

Margaret, what a wonderful post and tribute to Tasha Tudor.

Margaret said...

Thank you, Barb, and welcome to Earthly Paradise!