Original illustration by Bob Dacey from Packed Dirt, Churchgoing, A Dying Cat, A Traded Car
This beautifully rendered watercolor is by illustrator Bob Dacey. This is a richly colored piece done entirely in neutral tones. It features two Black women dressed in white in the forefront who are seen tending to a goat, and two Black men and a Black woman promenading in the background.
Dacey was commissioned to create this piece to illustrate the short story titled, “Packed Dirt, Churchgoing, A Dying Cat, A Traded Car” 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.