Lot 280
  • 280

Steig, William

150,000 - 200,000 USD
187,500 USD
bidding is closed


  • A superb archive of drawings assembled by the artist's son Jeremy. Ca. 1930's–1990s
  • ink and paper
359 pen-and-ink, wash, and watercolor drawings on paper (the smallest sheet size 8 1/2 x 9 1/4; 215 x 235 mm — the largest, 11 x 19 1/2 in.; 279 x 495 mm), many with editor's notes, stamps from the New Yorker art department, etc., in margins or on versos.

Catalogue Note

A fine retrospective collection of the art of William Steig (1907–2003), one of 20th-century America's greatest illustrators, assembled by his son Jeremy Steig (1942–2016).  The collection began with drawings Jeremy received from his father during his childhood in Greenwich Village in the 1940s and 50's.  His interest in his father's art never flagged and as an adult he purchased drawings from his father as well as receiving others as gifts.  

The drawings in this collection attest to the stylistic variety and varied content of Steig's output, spanning six decades. There are drawings (including two covers) done for the New Yorker, in addition to work done for Collier's and other publications.  There are published and unpublished pen-and-ink drawings of an odd and wonderful assortment of human beings, not to mention wise and stylish cats and dogs, some in human attire.

It was not until 1961, however, that Steig decided to tackle a new audience: children.  His books for these discerning readers are still immensely popular, especially Shrek!  Jeremy Steig acquired complete sets of the vivid watercolor illustrations for two of the finest, Caleb and Kate (1986) and The Zabajaba Jungle (1991). 

This remarkable selection of William Steig's work has been in Japan, where Jeremy lived, for many years and has not been exhibited. Jeremy Steig was a noted jazz-fusion flutist, who recorded solo and also with a number of other musicians, including Johnny Winter, Paul Winter Sextet, and Lalo Schifirin.

Additional images for this lot are available from the Books and Manuscripts Dept.