Thursday, March 5, 2015

Vintage Childhood Prints

Happy Thursday, everyone!  It's raining cats and dogs here; how about where you are?  Yesterday was a breath of spring, today is a blast of winter .  {:/  However, next week, we'll have more daylight in the evenings, and I'm looking forward to that!

Our family was all gathered at my parents' house back in February to celebrate my mom's birthday.  It was a fun time, and before we left my mom gave my sister and I these pictures, which used to hang in our bedroom when we were babies and toddlers.  We shared a bedroom until I was ten years old.

Have you ever seen these prints before?  I bet there are lots of you who had some of these growing up, or perhaps your children had them in their nursery.  These are the Northern Tissue "American Beauties" prints from the 1950's and '60's (not to be confused with the "Big Eyes" pictures of the current movie fame).

Aren't these darling pictures?  I asked my mom where she got them, and she said she got these when she purchased toilet tissue at the grocery store.  Today I decided to see if I could find out some information on the pictures.  I got out my magnifying glass and looked at the artist's signature --

The artist who painted these pictures is Frances Hook, from Ambler, Pennsylvania. After graduating from art school, Frances began a very successful commercial art career by accepting freelance commissions with corporations, magazines, and publishers. Frances illustrated for Saturday Evening Post, Reader's Digest, and Good Housekeeping, along with many other distinguished companies.  You can read more about her Here.  The most well-known creations from her early career were the children she created for Northern Tissue in the late 1950's and early 1960's.

The first American Beauty prints were available as a set of four.


My sister had blond hair when we were children and I was a brunette, so my mom gave my sister the two prints on the right (above) and I got two similar prints to the ones on the left.


A little later, Frances Hook did a set of three boys' prints for Northern Tissue, known as the "All-American Boys."


According to this source, there are still a lot of these pictures in circulation, so they're collectible, but they don't fetch a high price at the moment.  I found several listed on e-Bay.  I just love these sweet, vintage prints; I'm going to have to figure out a place to display them.  Thanks, Mom, for saving these sweet pictures for us!

Thank you for your visit and have a great week!



  1. We had these in our rooms too! The one with the snow and the kitty, such memories! I see them here and there while out antiquing and it always thrills me to see them.

  2. They are so very sweet. I might have some old greeting cards from Dear's mother that might be from this same artist, too. Fun...

  3. Oh, Denise, thanks for the memories. I had totally forgotten! Is that terrible that a mother would forget??!!!! I had all four of those prints in Tami's room when she was a baby and little toddler. I haven't thought about them in years and I don't know what happened to them..That makes me so sad..Bad mommy!..Happy Weekend..Judy

  4. Cute prints, the snowy one is sure... timely:@)

  5. I am so glad I found these in the attic. They bring back so many memories. This was decorating on a budget, but I loved them. Glad you treasure them too. Love you, Mom

  6. They are so darling and recognizable. The artist was very good capturing the essence of childhhod. A very cool background story on these pictures.

  7. Hi Denise and yes, I do remember these sweet little faces. We didn't have any prints of them but I sure do recall them. So sweet your mother gave them to you . I wonder if this lady painted the "Breck Girls", 'member those? Thanks for popping in to see me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  8. How charming, Denise. Being raised in England, they are new to me. You must find a special place for them. P. x



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