The art of Virginia Frances Sterrett, 1900–1933


“Rosalie saw before her eyes a tree of marvellous beauty” from Old French Fairy Tales.

Continuing the series of occasional posts mining the scanned library books at the Internet Archive, these illustrations are from a 1920 edition of Old French Fairy Tales by Comtesse Sophie de Ségur and a 1921 volume of Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Virginia Frances Sterrett, like Beardsley and Harry Clarke, was another artist whose life was cut short by tuberculosis. She was a remarkably accomplished 19-year-old when she illustrated the Sophie de Ségur book. Her incredible illustrations for The Arabian Nights (1928) can be seen here.


“They walked side by side during the rest of the evening” from Old French Fairy Tales.


“She whipped up the snakes and ascended high over the city” from Tanglewood Tales.


“This pitiless reptile had killed his poor companions” from Tanglewood Tales.

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4 thoughts on “The art of Virginia Frances Sterrett, 1900–1933”

  1. I remember this book! I used to check it out over and over as a child from our little library. I was fixated on her illustrations, as I was with Kay Nielsen’s

  2. I have a first edition… inherited from my mother, and I have just paid a bomb to have it re-bound, as the spine and the sewing had disintegrated over the years.
    I am very fond if it also – the illustrations were so like Erte, so very evocative of the period…

  3. Virginia Sterrett was my grandmothers aunt. I was fortunate enough to inherit all of her original art work as well as her “doodle” pad that she used. She was such a wonderful artist..

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