Jaro Hess. The Land of Make Believe. 1930

The Land of Make Believe by Jaro Hess, 1930
The Land of Make Believe by Jaro Hess, 1930
This is a 1930 Jaro Hess pictorial map of the Land of Make Believe. The map is derived from over fifty nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and children's stories with creative, entertaining, and attractive illustrations. Some of the many stories referenced are Little Red Riding Hood, Little Miss Muffett, Little Boy Blue, Jack and the Beanstalk, Old King Cole, Peter Rabbit, The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Hansel and Gretel, the Wizard of Oz, One Thousand and One Nights, Rip Van Winkle, and Peter Pan. Each story has its own illustration and caption. This map was incredibly popular after its release, and decorated the walls of myriad schoolhouses and playrooms. It is truly a piece of American popular culture.
This map was created by Jaro Hess and published by The Child's Wonderland Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Jaro Hess (1889—1977), born Jaroslav Hes, came into the world in Prague and immigrated to the United States at the age of 21 in 1910. Before immigrating, Hess received a degree in metallurgical engineering from the University of Prague, and soon thereafter joined the French Foreign Legion in Algiers. He quickly realized that this had been a poor decision and later remembered the experience as some of the ‘worst days of his life.’ After returning to Europe as a stowaway, he completed his military service in the Austrian army. After immigrating to America, Hess tried his luck in the Pittsburgh steel mills. He greatly disliked the ‘dirty city’ and left, embarking on a more circuitous and nomadic life, working as a chemist, engraver, horticulturist, and steelworker throughout the Midwest. Hess eventually ended up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he took over his father-in-law’s plant nursery. Over the course of the 1930s and 40s, Hess made a name for himself as an artist in the Grand Rapids artistic community, and drew his most famous work, The Land of Make Believe. Hess became known for his sketches of odd creatures and other supernatural themes.

The land of make believe. Published by Jaro Hess – Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1930

The Land of Make Believe by Jaro Hess, 1930
The Land of Make Believe by Jaro Hess, 1930. 63×92 cm. Source: davidrumsey.com. [jpg, 10000×6884 px]
The Land of Make Believe by Jaro Hess, 1930
The Land of Make Believe by Jaro Hess. Dickinson Brothers, Inc. 1958 (Original copyright 1930). 64×92 cm. Source: davidrumsey.com. [jpg, 10000×6955 px]
The Land of Make Believe by Jaro Hess, 1930
Detail of The Land of Make Believe by Jaro Hess

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