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The Thornton Burgess Society
appreciates the support of the
Massachusetts Cultural Council

Gallery Exhibits at Green Briar

The two galleries in the Green Briar building offer changing exhibitions throughout the year. Society members and the public are invited to come by and view the works of these talented artists. Following is the schedule for the coming months.



“A Tale of Two Artists” featuring paintings and drawings by Harrison Cady and Phoebe Erickson will be on exhibit in the small gallery from mid-January through March.  Many illustrators worked with Thornton W. Burgess during his long and distinguished career.  The Burgess Society is fortunate to have a number of works in its collections by two of the most important of these artists, W. Harrison Cady and Phoebe Erickson.  Both illustrators were favorites of Burgess, yet both had very different styles of depicting the author’s animal characters as can be seen in this exhibition.  The self-taught Harrison Cady, who began his association with Burgess in 1911, had a colorful, whimsical style. His renderings of the residents of the Green Meadow, GreenForest and Smiling Pool had them dressed in pants, coats and scarfs; wearing hats and carrying umbrellas, canes and fishing poles. Thus, Cady created the images which appeared in the minds of children for decades as they read Burgess’ stories.  Even today Cady’s illustrations remain the most enduring images of Peter Rabbit, Reddy Fox, Jimmy Skunk and all the rest of Old Mother West Wind’s creatures.

By the mid-Twentieth Century, a more serious approach to animal stories prevailed, and anthropomorphism began drawing fire from natural science educators.  So, as Burgess’ reputation as a naturalist grew, one of his publishers, Grosset and Dunlap, hired illustrator Phoebe Erickson to give a more natural and realistic look to the Burgess animal characters.  A well traveled artist and also an award winning author, Erickson illustrated five Burgess books from 1949 to 1958.  As can be seen in the work shown here, her Peter Rabbit had a young, natural yet loveable appearance sans clothing and all the other trappings of the Cady illustrations.  Like Cady, Miss Erickson became one of Burgess’ good friends and was delighted to have been chosen to illustrate some of his stories.  She once confessed to her friend Charles Roth that she adored Burgess and “loved him to death.”  All of Miss Erickson’s works on display in this exhibit were donated by her to the Burgess Society.














Thornton W. Burgess Society
6 Discovery Hill Road
East Sandwich, MA 02537