Saturday, December 30, 2006

Royal Lacey Scoville's "The Dream of Tom Tompkins"
"The Arma-daffy-dillo, Jam-bo-reet, Trunc-o-phant and other fantastic creatures are the subjects of a special exhibition this holiday season at the Brandywine River Museum. The Imaginary Beasts of Royal Lacey Scoville features 38 whimsical watercolors that form an original narrative written and illustrated by Royal Lacey Scoville in 1915. The untitled story was never published because it was created solely for the amusement of his daughter.

Ingeniously weaving poetic verse and colorful illustrations with fantastic creatures of his own invention, Scoville tells the tale of the lazy Tom Tompkins and the wizard, Tumblebug, who casts a spell on Tom. Startled from a mid-day nap, Tom stares at a gigantic snake with a multicolored head and gaping mouth. Trapped by the spell, he is unable to escape the snake's coils as they tighten around his legs.

Scoville's snake provides a consistent visual link throughout the story, appearing in every panel. Each new image, to the horror of Tom, introduces an imaginary beast ensnared by the snake's body. By the story's completion, the snake is an impressive 44 feet long and has seized 35 creatures, among them the amusing Arma-daffy-dillo, the wild Jam-bo-reet, and the indolent Trunc-o-phant."

- quote taken from here.

5 of the 36 watercolors made for "The Dream of Tom Tompkins".

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