Original illustration by Bob Dacey from Lifeguard
This beautifully rendered watercolor is by illustrator Bob Dacey. It is a dreamlike piece that captures the summer haze of hot days at the beach. It features a lifeguard, hunched forward, eyes on the water, as he keenly observes the beachgoers.
Dacey was commissioned to create this piece to illustrate the short story titled, “Lifeguard” by author John Updike. It was printed in the 1981 The Franklin Library publication of “Pigeon Feathers and Other Stories” which featured a collection of short stories by the author.
The Franklin Library’s Original Illustration Commissions
From its founding in 1973 until its closing in 2000 The Franklin Library produced public domain classic books as well as some limited first editions, releasing them in subscription series such as The Collected Stories of the World’s Greatest Writers. Often released in parallel series including leather bound and a non-leather bound (leatherette), the books were handsomely bound and included numerous original illustrations from contemporary artists.