NEILL, JOHN REA. 1877-1943.
Endpaper design for The Wonder City of Oz, pen and ink and white paint, 313 x 483 mm.
Published: The Wonder City of Oz by John R. Neill (Chicago: Reilly & Lee Co., 1940), endpapers.
Provenance: Frank O'Donnell, Reilly & Lee Co., Chicago.
When Ruth Plumly Thompson, the second Royal Historian of Oz, decided to retire in early 1940, the publishers Reilly & Lee invited John R. Neill, the illustrator of all but the first Oz book, to succeed her. He wrote and illustrated three titles shortly before his death. Neill was in the habit of filling the endpapers for many books in the series with portraits of Oz characters. Among the very best is this drawing for The Wonder City of Oz. Several of the faces were used in the headpieces for Chapters 3 and 8 as indicated in the printer's notes below the drawing. Note that Neill misspelled "Scarecrow."