Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nancy Drew Cover Art Paintings

Nancy Drew Cover Art Paintings

As a Nancy Drew collector, how much to do you covet the artwork? Does it inspire you to read the books? If it's not appealing, does it make you not want to read the books?

If you could own a painting of a Nancy Drew cover, which one would it be?

There are collectors who own dozens of original Nancy Drew cover paintings. I have managed to acquire 3. And that's probably it for me. They tend to be very expensive! I own a Files painting and then 2 Rudy Nappi paintings--both shown above--The Hidden Staircase and The Witch Tree Symbol. Staircase I purchased directly from Nappi. Witch Tree fell into my lap so to speak, being auctioned off by a gallery in Oregon.

Both of the books above are 2 of my childhood and adult favorites so not only am I thrilled to own them but they have that extra sentimental connection too. Hidden Staircase is such an iconic image that I feel especially happy to have that one in my collection.

Speaking of consulting--Grosset & Dunlap used this painting to create a stand-up display of Nancy right off the cover for some 80th anniversary promotions last year. I had to take it to a graphics company (very high end) in Scottsdale to be scanned as they needed it done at a very high resolution and it apparently was quite a scanning process.



susied said...

I love these covers but to be honest, I love the originals more. Guess it is because I appreciate the fashions of the 30s!

I think the artists did a wonderful job with all the books covers.

Mike G said...

Jenn - you already know how I feel about the cover art; I think the artwork was truly instrumental in the series' success. I am fortunate enough to own several Nappis, and I treasure them much more than any individual book I own (whether it is a first edition or not!).

I often speculate that if I could own any of the Tandy paintings, which would it be... I would kill for any of them, but I think I most enjoy the artwork for Moss-covered Mansion and Secret in the Old Attic. Both paintings set the mood for the books, and I llike the 1940s rendering of Nancy and clothing styles better than the 1930s look If I could have any Nappi (I really don't care for any of the Gillies), I think it would be Velvet Mask or his first rendition of Secret in the Old Attic.

nancycollector said...

I have a cover painting from the Files series which I love, of course.

If I were to acquire a Nappi painting, I have several covers which I would like. Four of those are both verisons of Jewel Box (especially the first one), the first cover for Scarlet Slipper (which a long-time series collector proudly owns), and the Strange Message in the Parchment (a cover very rich in detail).

I agree with Mike G, the artwork was definitely instrumental in the successful sales.

Jenn said...

@susied - I too would love an original Tandy, wish there were more of them out there to collect--unfortunately the cost would probably be prohibitive although the Toledo Public Library did acquire Shadow Ranch for around $9000.00--which is less than what I would have thought it would have sold for.

@Mike - I do agree, definitely helped with the success--and I think I tend to like stories better if the art is really good. I agree about Old Attic Tandy--would love to have that one if it was ever available. It's so lovely and spooky.

@Bill - yes Parchment is a nicely done one and I do like that aspect of it even though the story is a bit cheesy in parts.


Jennifer said...

If I could own just one Nancy Drew painting, I would want it to be the Tandy art for Twisted Candles. I love that artwork.

Shell in the City said...

I love the artwork! One of my favorites is Velvet Mask..the first Rudy one! I also like Old Attic..the 1st and 2nd covers and the Nappi Shadow Ranch cover. To me, the artwork is very important...I would read the books based on the covers!

Elle said...

I'm in love with Nappi Crooked Banister, Twisted Candles, Tolling Bell, and Scarlet Slipper (which I actually dressed up for Halloween as in 2011, won a costume contest with, and NO ONE took a photo?!)

I'm actually super interested in buying any Nappi Drew artwork that comes available, but they've been impossible to find so far. Any tips?

Jennifer Fisher said...

Elle - they're all in private hands as far as I know, so you will have a very hard time finding one - unless someone decides to sell - keep an eye on eBay and there are auction sites you could do Google searches for that may have sold them in the past and you can always periodically check that way.

rich mccollough said...

I would love to own the Mystery of the Fire Dragon. The book is a bit dated and not very pc. Nancy tells Bess to go on a diet cause she may scare the guys away. Their isn’t a lot of ethnic diversity. The were written for upper middle class, priveled white people, but I still love the cover and lost our original so got it in hardback on Amazon. I have five older sisters so those books were in our home library. Since my parents are gone and sisters out of the state . They all remind me of the perfect house I grew up in and my parents and siblings. I have a bit of an obsession with that one cover.