HELEN JACOBS BWS (1888-1970)

Helen Jacobs

Helen Mary Jacobs, BWS (1888-1970)


Talented in both draughtsmanship and watercolour painting, Helen Jacobs soon established herself as a children’s illustrator. read more...

Helen Jacobs
Helen Mary Jacobs, BWS (1888-1970)

Talented in both draughtsmanship and watercolour painting, Helen Jacobs soon established herself as a children’s illustrator. Though best known for the precision, energy and imagination of her early fairy subjects, she responded well to a variety of commissions; and, as a primary teacher, she seemed an ideal interpreter of textbooks and primers.

Helen Jacobs was the daughter of a wharf manager, and half-sister of the popular writer W W Jacobs. Born in Ilford, in Essex, she spent her childhood in Stoke Newington, and studied at the West Ham Municipal College, under Arthur Legge. From about 1912, she lived at Winchmore Hill.

Jacobs exhibited from 1910, at the Royal Academy, the Royal Institute of Painters in Water-Colours and the Dudley Gallery. It may be assumed that, as a member of the British Watercolour Society, she was also represented in its exhibitions. In addition, she produced a series of drawings of species of moth for the entomologist Lord Rothschild.

However, Jacobs quickly established herself as a children’s illustrator, working mainly in watercolour and pen and ink; she contributed to annuals (including
Pip & Squeak) and periodicals (including The Sunday Fairy), while responding increasingly to commissions from major publishers, most notably Harrap.

In her later years, Jacobs taught at a primary school in Stoke Newington, and turned to illustrating school books and primers. These included frequent collaborations with her friend Stella Mead (‘The Open Road’ series, and other Nisbet publications) and some with Constance M Martin (particularly the ‘Riverside Readers’ exemplified here). The pedagogic material led to a move away from the precise beauty of her early fairy watercolours to a brighter, bolder graphic style.

Hans Christian AndersenGrimm's Fairy TalesAnimal CharactersFairy & Fantasy
ChristmasMyths & LegendsChildren's LiteratureIllustrations
ONE OF THE TAILORS by HELEN JACOBS

ONE OF THE TAILORS

THE ARCHBISHOP by HELEN JACOBS

THE ARCHBISHOP

KING ARTHUR'S CROWN by HELEN JACOBS

KING ARTHUR'S CROWN

THE CASKET by HELEN JACOBS

THE CASKET

THE WILD SWANS AND OTHER STORIES FROM HANS ANDERSEN by HELEN JACOBS

THE WILD SWANS AND OTHER STORIES FROM HANS ANDERSEN

THE GRYPHON AND MOCK TURTLE by HELEN JACOBS

THE GRYPHON AND MOCK TURTLE

THE OLD WOMAN by HELEN JACOBS

THE OLD WOMAN

THE GOBLIN HIDES BEHIND THE BARREL by HELEN JACOBS

THE GOBLIN HIDES BEHIND THE BARREL

THE FAIRY GODMOTHER by HELEN JACOBS

THE FAIRY GODMOTHER

THE WILD SWANS AND OTHER STORIES FROM HANS ANDERSEN TITLE PAGE by HELEN JACOBS

THE WILD SWANS AND OTHER STORIES FROM HANS ANDERSEN TITLE PAGE

THE ELVES AND FAIRIES CAME TO GREET THEM, BEARING THEIR QUAINT OFFERINGS by HELEN JACOBS

THE ELVES AND FAIRIES CAME TO GREET THEM, BEARING THEIR QUAINT OFFERINGS

INTO THE WATER TOM DIVED by HELEN JACOBS

INTO THE WATER TOM DIVED

'TAKE ROGER AND BETTY WITH YOU!' NEDDY COMMANDED GRANDLY by HELEN JACOBS

'TAKE ROGER AND BETTY WITH YOU!' NEDDY COMMANDED GRANDLY

THE BOY CALLED OUT THAT THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES by HELEN JACOBS

THE BOY CALLED OUT THAT THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES

ELISE AND WAITING-WOMEN by HELEN JACOBS

ELISE AND WAITING-WOMEN

THE KING ENTERED THE CAVE AND STOOD AMAZED by HELEN JACOBS

THE KING ENTERED THE CAVE AND STOOD AMAZED

THE QUEEN AND THE THREE TOADS by HELEN JACOBS

THE QUEEN AND THE THREE TOADS

THEY FLEW OUT OF THE WINDOW by HELEN JACOBS

THEY FLEW OUT OF THE WINDOW

ELEVEN PRINCES WALKING TO SCHOOL by HELEN JACOBS

ELEVEN PRINCES WALKING TO SCHOOL

ELAINE BEARING A LOVE TOKEN by HELEN JACOBS

ELAINE BEARING A LOVE TOKEN

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