Thursday, August 5, 2021

Russel Crofoot and Jurgen

Russel Crofoot did the (admirably restrained) artwork on the first edition of Jurgen (1919) by James Branch Cabell. It's rather nice, and the question recently came up as to who he was, and what else he might have done. Here's a brief sketch. 

Russel Crofoot was born in Chicago on 12 March 1884, the only son of Adelbert B. Crofoot (1842-1917) and Florence Isabel Smith (1850-1918). Russel had three older sisters. He was married and divorced once.

Russel's second wife was Nettie Van Tress; they married in New York on 21 February 1917. According to his Draft Registration card from September 1918, he worked as Treasurer at the publisher Robert M. McBride Company.  Thus it isn't difficult to see, with his artistic talent, why he might also be utilized as the cover artist for the dust-wrappers of some McBride publications, including Jurgen. A few of his other dust-wrappers, all from McBride, are shown below. By 1945 he had retired, and settled in Manatee County, Florida, with a presumed third wife, Agnes E. Crofoot. Russel died in Bradenton, in Manatee County, on 27 October 1971. 








  1. Thanks, Doug. I've always loved the striking cover art for "The Green Eyes of Bast." --md