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The Bookman. Christmas Number (c.1895). Cover art by Louis Rhead. Dodd, Mead & Company, New York. 

In this splendid image for a literary journal, Rhead depicts a distinguished gentleman, reminiscent of Benjamin Franklin, browsing through a bookstore with his umbrella wedged between his knees. Rhead designed his first poster, for St. Nicholas magazine, in 1889.

Tales from Shakespeare, by Charles & Mary Lambert.
With numerous illustrations by Louis Rhead.
Harper & Brothers Publishers.
New York. London.
.1918.

The Tempest

Before Prospero left the island he dismissed Ariel from his service, to the great joy of that lively little spirit, who, though he had been a faithful servant to his master, was always longing to enjoy his free liberty, to wander uncontrolled in the air, like a wild bird, under green trees, among pleasant fruits, ans sweet-smelling flowers.
“My quaint Ariel,” said Prospero to the little spirit when he made him free, “I shall miss you ; yet you shall have your freedom.”
“Thank you, my dear master,” said Ariel ; “but give me leave to attend your ship home with prosperous gales, before you bid farewell to the assistance of your faithful spirit ; and then, master, when I am free, how merrily I shall live !” Here Ariel sang this pretty song :

“Where the bee sucks, there suck I ;
In a cowslip’s bell I lie :
There I crouch when owls do cry.
On the bat’s back I do fly
After summer merrily.
Merrily, merrily shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.”

Prospero then buried deep in the earth his magical books and wand, for he was resolved never more to make use of the magic art…

Ex Libris of a Musician. Louis Rhead (1857-1926). From A Collection of Book Plate Designs by Louis Rhead. Boston: W.P. Truesdell, 1907.

“In his book-plate designs Mr. Rhead has been equally successful; and seems to have brought to this branch of art all the originality, decorativeness and perfection of his larger and more pretentious work.”

The Century Magazine for June. Louis Rhead (American, 1857-1926). New York: The Century Co., 1896. Color print in poster format. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Poster shows a woman reading amid yellow flowers. In the early 1890s, Rhead became a prominent poster artist and was heavily influenced by the work of Swiss artist Eugène Grasset. During the poster craze of the 1890s, Rhead’s poster art appeared regularly in Harper’s Bazaar, Century Magazine, and other leading magazines.