Window Shopping In Art and Illustration

Window Shopping In Art and Illustration

The following scene from John Steinbeck’s Depression Era novel The Grapes Of Wrath is one of the most affecting, in my opinion:

A 1926 Nash sedan puled wearily off the highway. The back seat was piled nearly to the ceiling with sacks, with pots and pans, and on the very top, right up against the ceiling, two boys rode. On the top of the car, a mattress and a folded tent; tent poles tied along the running-board. The car pulled up to the petrol pumps. A dark-haired hatchet faced man got slowly out. And the two boys slid down from the load and hit the ground. […] Their faces were streaked with mud. They went directly to the mud puddle under the hose and dug their toes into the mud. […]

The man took off his dark-stained hat and stood with a curious humility in front of the screen. “Could you see your way to sell us a loaf of bread, ma’am?”

Ma said: “This ain’t a grocery store. We got bread to make san’widges.” […]

From behind her Al growled: “God Almighty, Mae. Give ’em bread.” […]

Mae shrugged her plump shoulders and looked to the truck drivers to show them what she was up against. She held the screen door open and the man came in, bringing a smell of sweat with him. The boys edged in behind him and they went immediately to the candy case and stared in — not with craving or with hope or even with desire, but just with a kind of wonder that such things could be.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas by Russell Hoban, illustrated by Lillian Hoban (1971)
JULY 1937 GOOD HOUSEKEEPING art by Gaffron
JULY 1937 GOOD HOUSEKEEPING art by Gaffron
Anton Pieck
Josef Lada
“Reflections of a Hungry Man”, 1894 – Emilio Longoni, Italian (1859 – 1932)
Michael Sowa, a German painter from Berlin (Text in the window reads Easter Bunny will come)
Henry Jean Pontoy
Fabio Cipolla Fabio Cipolla (1854 – 1935) Italian Children In Front Of A Pastry
Animalville front cover from 1939, illustrated by Eleanora Madsen
The Etude Music Magazine December 1932
THE TOY SHOP Little Color Classics Book illustrated by A.F. Lancaster 1943
THE TOY SHOP Little Color Classics Book illustrated by A.F. Lancaster 1943
Charles Henry Twelvetrees (1872-1948) window
Charles Henry Twelvetrees (1872-1948)
Peter Arno, American Illustrator 1904-1968
Johnny and the Tool Chest Vintage 1964 WILLIAM D. HAYES
Johnny and the Tool Chest Vintage 1964 WILLIAM D. HAYES
The Story Shop by Mary C. Odell 1945 illustrated by Edith May Cunnings. The illustration is repeated on the frontispiece with the caption: "Outside the window stood a small boy, looking as solemn as the owl he was watching."
The Story Shop by Mary C. Odell 1945 illustrated by Edith May Cunnings. The illustration is repeated on the frontispiece with the caption: “Outside the window stood a small boy, looking as solemn as the owl he was watching.”

Despite what retro picture books told you, never buy a pet from a shop. (The animals likely come from a mill.)

The Puppy In The Pet Shop Vintage Childrens Book Joseph Schrank 1961 illustrated by Meg Wohlberg
The Puppy In The Pet Shop Vintage Childrens Book Joseph Schrank 1961 illustrated by Meg Wohlberg
The Puppy In The Pet Shop Vintage Childrens Book Joseph Schrank 1961 illustrated by Meg Wohlberg
The Puppy In The Pet Shop Vintage Childrens Book Joseph Schrank 1961 illustrated by Meg Wohlberg
The Puppy In The Pet Shop Vintage Childrens Book Joseph Schrank 1961 illustrated by Meg Wohlberg
Frances Tipton Hunter (1896-1957), Down, But Not Out dog
A Fuzzy Pet by Alice Hanson, illustrated by Marjorie Hartwell, is A Fuzzy Wuzzy Book published by Whitman 1959
by Constantin Alajalov (1900-1987) The Saturday Evening Post cover May 10, 1947
Elia Volpi, (Italian, 1858 – 1938) The Showcase of Toys 1886
Power Tool Window Shopping, Stevan Dohanos (1907-1994) 1951
L. L. Combes-1948 Let’s go shopping with Pierre and Pierrette
Book cover from the children’s novel Christmas Holidays at Merryvale by Alice Hale Burnett (1916)