Date Published: 1925 to 1942
Hendrik Willem van Loon (1882-1944) was a Dutch-American historian, journalist, illustrator, and award-winning children’s book author winning the first Newberry Medal in 1922 for “The Story of Mankind”. In 1942 he was knighted by Queen Wilhelmina for his contribution to the Dutch resistance.
The collection contains 19 items dating from 1925 to 1942, specifically, 1 ALS, 7 B&W photos, 5 books with 3 letters laid in 2 books (one letter in another hand commenting on Van Loon’s character), and three pieces of ephemera.
1 Autographed Letter Signed (ALS):
• ALS dated Thursday, not addressed to a specific person, saying that he is working too hard and that for the next six weeks, with the exception of broadcasts, he is under doctor’s orders to limit his work.
7 B&W photos:
• “The `Jazz Historian’ Speaks”, 1 October 1925, N.E.A.;
• “California Visitors”, Van Loon seated and typing with his wife, 20 January 1931, N.E.A.;
• “Dutch Writer Guest of American Club in Paris”, 26 August 1933, Acme Newspictures;
• “A Mere Ghost of Himself”, Van Loon seated, 22 September 1933, N.E.A.;
• “Famous Author on NBC”, Van Loon seated with microphone nearby, 20 May 1935;
• “Says America Must Be Tough”, 23 January 1942, seated at his desk in his house, Old Greenwich, Conn.;
• “Handrik [Hendrik] Van Loon at Bazaar”, Van Loon with Marian Markan, the Iceland soprano, 9 and 10 October 1942, N.E.A..
• Air-Storming: A Collection of 40 Radio Talks (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1935), blue cloth, signed, green ink drawing of a NBC microphone and long inscription, 28 ? 1935.
• The Arts (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1937), red cloth in fine condition, pictorial jacket (small amount of scotch tape at top and bottom along the edges), presentation copy to Ralph T. Musson, 21 November 1937, color and ink illustration by Van Loon on the front free endpaper (signed and inscribed “Jongleur frivole | Joueux de luthe inutilé | Montreal Book Fair.”),
With a witty TLS (2 pp.) to Musson, re Van Loon’s appearance and lecture at the Fair, that he will not sign books for the general public (he is not a “trained poodle dog”) but he’ll sign books for the friends of booksellers.
• Folk Songs of Many Lands (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1938), pictorial paper boards, front panel of jacket laid in. This book has been professionally repaired with two inches of spine being replaced by new cloth. Other parts of spine have been reglued to binding, wear to edges. Laid in are: an ALS from Van Loon to Rodger L. Simons, 15 November 1940, addressed Dear Sir, with envelope, re the plight of the Netherlands during the war, the Dutch authorities in Lisbon, and his efforts to aid Dutch refugees; TLS from Jeanette to Scott, 28 July, commenting on Van Loon’s character (“a distinctive writer and character in his day”, “looked like a Dutch patron”, “a trty, cynical person”, “We often sat next to the Van Loon’s at dinner in a favorite restaurant, so came to know him—also his wife and Miss Castagnetta/”).
• The Last of the Troubadours. Carl Michael Bellman 1740-1795 His Life and His Music (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1939), pictorial paper boards in chipped and torn dust jacket, corners bumped, bottom of spine and the last three leaves damaged by a rodent. Co-authored by Grace Castagnetta. Signed and inscribed on front free endpaper by both authors with a black ink drawing by Van Loon.
• Van Loon’s Lives (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1942), red cloth in chipped pictorial jacket, presentation copy to Stewart ?, 17 December 1942, New York, ink self caricature by Van Loon on the front free endpaper.
• Signed note for Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia, Finnish Relief Fund, with a photo print of Van Loon, La Guardia, and Herbert Hoover (head of the Fund).
• Verso of envelope signed with photo print.
• Card signed.
Collection on consignment with LDRB.