Kendra and Allan Daniel, as both collectors and dealers, stand in the forefront of the relatively recent recognition of children's illustration as fine art.
The Daniels approach the selection of children's illustration with the same connoisseurship as they have with their superb private collection of American folk art. "As a collector," Kendra has explained, "it is spiritually rewarding to cultivate the child in oneself to be open to new ways of seeing art that reflect the condition of childhood." They have never set out to collect every important illustrator of the last two centuries.
They have discriminating taste in choosing not just whatever may show up but by waiting until just the right work, the best work comes along. "We did not put together a historical survey," Allan insists; "we bought what we loved." They never hesitate to purchase even the most obscure if it strikes their fancy. They share an intense passion for pictures that others might dismiss. They prefer the high fantasy art of the Golden Age of Illustration from roughly 1880 to 1940, focusing on what Kendra calls "the universe of the imagination: a place where all things are possible." Their artists, however whimsically, succeeded in creating "a fantastically imagined nation not limited by rules, a place that allows one to see beyond every day reality."