Yesterday was the 97th anniversary of author/illustrator Tasha Tudor's (1915-2008) birth.
Many of her devotees commemorated the day by getting together for tea--one of her favorite activities, taking tea each afternoon. Tasha had many activities besides illustrating books, such as, gardening, caring for her many animals (Corgi's, cats, goats, various kinds of birds, and chickens in her later years, and in her early years, besides the above, she had cows, sheep, ducks, geese, and a pet crow). Also in her earlier years she cared for her four children, made and performed marionettes, made dolls for her 4:1 scale doll house, spun and weaved, made candles and soap, cooked and canned, and much more.
I celebrated by attending the pilot Chapter of the newly formed Tasha Tudor Museum Society. The Museum's #1 mission is "To provide inspiration to the public by immersing them in the world created by author, illustrator and early American lifestyle icon, Tasha Tudor." Among the attendees was Tasha's former editor, Ann Beneduce. We enjoyed hearing about their friendship along with the stories the other attendees could relate about meeting Tasha. Time and again her endless energy was mentioned, her eagerness to share her love of Corgis and gardening, and anything else she might have had in common with you.
The Chapter explored ways in which Tasha Tudor's memory could be kept alive through her books and the promotion of her lifestyle, especially for the younger generation. For me it was her courage to be herself and to go after the kind of life she desired. I wrote about this in an earlier post. We also talked about her joy for life. She never hurried and was deliberate in her speech and actions. She seemed to savor every moment of living. In her book "Take Joy", which is dedicated to Ann Beneduce, the first page is a letter by Giovanni Giocondo, dated 1513, in which he writes, "The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet, within our reach, is joy. Take Joy."
So, Tasha, I wish to thank you for the beauty you brought into this world through your lovely illustrations and for the Joy you shared with us through your example.