Susanne Suba illustrations


Free Library of Philadelphia: Children's Literature Research Collection
Call Number
Suba, Susanne, 1913-
Susanne Suba illustrations
Date [inclusive]
2.08 Linear feet
This collection contains eighteen illustrations by artist Susanne Suba for Sonny-boy Sim, written by Elizabeth Whitemore Baker.
Cite as
[Description and date of item], [Box and folder number], Susanne Suba illustrations, 1948, Free Library of Philadelphia, Children’s Literature Research Collection.

Susanne Suba was born in 1913 in Budapest, Hungary. She began studying art with her father, Miklos, an architect and painter. Sometime between 1919 and 1922 she and her mother May, a pianist originally from Brooklyn, moved to the United States. Her father joined the family later. They settled in Brooklyn, where Suba attended the Brooklyn Friends School and the Pratt Institute. Frank Henahan of Aldus Associates gave her her first commission, for four illustrations to The Colophon Part XX. The first book she fully illustrated was Life Without Principle by Henry David Thoreau, which was chosen as one of the American Institute of Graphic Arts Fifty Books of the Year in 1937. Other notable books illustrated by Suba include The Cat by Colette (1936), The Coat-Hanger Christmas Tree by Eleanor Estes (1973), Morning Faces: A Book of Children and Parents by John Mason Brown (1949), and Sonny-Boy Sim by Elizabeth Whitemore Baker (1948). She also illustrated a number of books by her husband, Russell McCracken. These included The Elegant Elephant (1944), The Mystery of Carmen the Cow (1946), and The Gentle Giraffe (1945). She both wrote and illustrated one book, My Paintbook (1936). In addition to illustrating books, she also designed book jackets for various publishers and drew caricatures for The New Yorker. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Brooklyn Museum. Susanne Suba died in New York City on February 4, 2012.


“Drawings and sketchbooks of Susanne Suba, ca. 1917-circa 1930," Winterthur Wintercat Catalogue.

Kingman, Lee, ed. Illustrators of Children's Books: 1957-1966. Boston: Horn Book, 1968.

Suba, Susanne. “Suba.” PM, 4:20 (1938 December-1939 January).

This collection contains eighteen illustrations for Sonny-Boy Sim written by Elizabeth Whitemore Baker. The illustrations are rendered in graphite, pen and ink, and watercolor on paper.

The illustrations are arranged in the order in which they appear in the published book.

Publication Information:

Free Library of Philadelphia: Children's Literature Research Collection

Finding Aid Author:

Finding aid prepared by Garrett Boos


The processing of this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources’ “Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives” Project.

Access Restrictions:

This collection is open to researchers by appointment. Please contact the Curator for information on access.

Use Restrictions:

The right of access to material does not imply the right of publication. Permission for reprinting, reproduction, or extensive quotation from the rare books, manuscripts, prints, or drawings must be obtained through written application, stating the use to be made of the material. The reader bears the responsibility for any possible infringement of copyright laws in the publication of such material. A reproduction fee will be charged if the material is to be reproduced in a commercial publication.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Gift of Susanne Suba, 1998.

  • Illustrations
  • Watercolors (paintings)
Personal Name(s)
  • Baker, Elizabeth Whitemore, b. 1882
  • Suba, Susanne, 1913-
  • Children's authors--20th century
  • Children's literature--20th century
  • Illustrated children's books--20th century
  • Illustration of books--20th century
  Date Box
Sonny-Boy Sim 1948
Preliminary art, graphite, pen and ink, and watercolor on paper 1947 1
Final art, graphite, pen and ink, and watercolor on paper, 13 sheets
The final art is for the half-title page and pages 7, 9, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25. 28, 29, 30, and 31.
1948 1-2

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