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Howard Pyle Paintings

This page contains the artwork of Howard Pyle, including Travels of the Soul and 18 other paintings by Howard Pyle – 1853-1911. Click on any photo below to begin a slideshow of the paintings.

The paintings by Howard Pyle became a part of the Kellogg Library’s collection due to the close friendship of Pyle and Alonzo Weston Kimball, a successful Green Bay business leader gifted the paintings to the community. Howard Pyle, a major celebrated American artist of the early 20th century, is known as "The Father of American Illustration". His books and magazine illustrations were highly sought after in the late 19th century. The Antiquarian's collection of Pyle paintings reflects all of the major types of subjects that Howard Pyle painted, including adventure fiction (illustrated works of Robin Hood, pirates, and King Arthur) and American colonial life.

Pyle trained dozens of artists and his students dominated American illustration for a generation. In addition, he was close friends with some of the most prominent celebrities of his time, including Mark Twain, Oliver Wendell Homes, President Theodore Roosevelt, and future president Woodrow Wilson. Our Pyle collection constitutes the third largest collection of his work. The largest collection is at the Delaware Art Museum.

See also, Howard Pyle in Wisconsin Teacher's Resource Guide

Slaughter Signing the Death Warrant of Leisler
Oil on canvas (1901)

Fight between “Bonhomme Richard” and “Serapis”
Oil on canvas (1901)

Ships Loading in Albemarle Sound
Oil on canvas (1901)

A Pennsylvania Cave Dwelling, 1683
Oil on canvas (1901)

Sea Fight
Oil on canvas (1901)

Political Discussion
Oil on canvas (1901)

Anne Hutchinson Preaching in her House in Boston
Oil on canvas (1901)

On the Warpath
Oil on canvas (1901)

An Interview between Sir Edmund Andros and James Blair
Oil on canvas (1901)

The Boston Tea Party
Oil on canvas (1901)

The Burning of the “Gaspee”
Oil on canvas (1901)

Phips Recovering the Sunken Treasure
Oil on canvas (1901)

Slaves at Jamestown from Dutch Man-of-War
Oil on canvas (1901)

Washington before the Trenches at Yorktown
Oil on canvas (1901)

Nathaniel Bacon and his Followers Burning Jamestown
Oil on canvas (1901)

Arrival of Stuyvesant at New Amsterdam
Oil on canvas (1901)

Colonel Rhett and Pirate Stede Bonnet
Oil on canvas (1901)

Capitulations of Louisburg
Oil on canvas (1901) 


Travels of the Soul
Oil on canvas (1902)

Four richly-colored paintings titled “Travels of the Soul” were some of Pyle’s most personally treasured works done to illustrate his own allegorical short story, bearing the same title, written for the December 1902 edition of The Century Magazine. According to author and illustrator Henry C. Pitz (a student of Pyle's) in The Brandywine Tradition (Houghton Mifflin, 1969), Pyle’s original paintings as reproduced in the magazine were “extraordinary examples” of the new four-color printing process that heralded the golden years of American color illustration.

The-Wicket-of-Paradise In-the-Meadows-of-Youth In-the-Valley-of-the-Shadow At-the-Gates-of-Life The Travels of the Soul consists of The Wicket of Paradise; In the Meadows of Youth; In the Valley of the Shadows; and At the Gates of Life. The story narrates the journey of the Soul – a lovely, winged woman – as she leaves Paradise to follow the enchanting sound of the pipes played by Death—a male figure in red and white robes.

In a sunlit meadow, she briefly encounters the radiant figure of Love, reminding her of the Paradise she left behind. The Soul once again hears and follows the pipes, and she struggles through dark forests and mountainous terrain until, in the Valley of the Shadows, encounters Grief. Grief orders the Soul to drink a bitter potion, and she is forced to rest. Again, Death plays his pipes, and the weary Soul continues through the Valley until she reaches a gigantic wooden door, which she cannot open. She cannot go forward nor can she return. The Soul asks Death what to do. Death speaks for the first time, assuring her that he, as her traveling-companion, will help her. He opens the door, and out floods the blinding light of Paradise. Death tells her that her journey has ended and she has returned home with the new wisdom and experience gained on her arduous journey – and admits he is not Death, but the angel known as Love.

In 2012, the Neville Public Museum placed in our collection five original plates for printing for the Century Magazine Vol. XLIV no. 8 Dec. 1902. They are story boards written by Howard Pyle on the “The Travels of the Soul.” Apparently they were given to the Museum in the 1990’s by the Brown County Library. There is some water damage and they will need to be conserved for the exhibit. Otherwise they are in good condition.

Included and accompanying the plates were two black ink drawings:

An untitled Eskimo Hunting scene by Robert Mayokok (1903-1983), signed, in good condition, 12”w x 8.5”. Mayokok’s work is highly collectible.

A sketch by Arnold Didrickson (1912-?) entitled “A Figure in Monochrome,” signed, needs conservation, 14.5’ h x 10.5” w. Arnold was a well-known child portrait artist and travelled Wisconsin and the Midwest sketching at art shows and malls. He was at Port Plaza Mall in the 1970’s. He sketched Captain Kangaroo on TV. (We are searching for his biography.)