Original watercolor story panels for Upsidedowntown. N.p., c. 1949.
This set of watercolor paintings comprises what appears to be the artwork for a children's book that was never published, and is by an artist with whom we are unfamiliar.
The paintings are brilliantly colored and accomplished, showing a clever eye for detail, from the birds flying upside down around the balloon children, to the balloon children sliding down cloud "hills" in the backgrounds. Two of the panels are signed "Alberta," and that is all we have been able to discern about the artist.
The story follows a group of balloon children as they are sold by a balloon vendor at a county fair, then drift up into “Upsidedowntown.” There, they frolic with a dog and go to a candy store. One of them is punctured by some bad nails and then patched up by a kindly doctor balloon. This all takes place with the county fair upside down in each panel. The story ends with a green balloon child in bed, with a child’s bedroom upside down above. One can envision a text that would go along with this story, though the visuals are so strong that words might only be an embellishment.