Dating to the 1920s, this whimsical watercolor on paper by the well-listed illustrator Paul Strayer features the iconic nursery rhyme character Mother Goose seen flying through the night sky atop her familiar white bird. We have come into a collection of pieces Strayer created exploring the characters and themes from Mother Goose, but have not yet found a book to connect them to. The Mother Goose stories were a popular subject for children's books in the early 20th century, and a number of publishers put their own spins on them, hiring contemporary authors and illustrators to create their own adaptations. This offers a dark and haunting take on the figure.
Strayer is best known for his Zane Grey illustrations, and he also worked on for such classics as Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped, Rudyard Kipling's, Tales of India, Nathaniel Hawthorne's, The Scarlet Letter and a number of other books for Houghton Mifflin & Doubleday. He was active as an artist in the Smith & Street pulp magazines and his work appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, Outdoorsman and Time Magazine.