December 30, 2011

The Children's Books Of Tom Seidmann-Freud


Tom Seidmann-Freud was Sigmund Freud's niece. She was born Martha-Gertrud Freud, and at 15 she changed her name to Tom and started wearing men's clothes. Which, sure, George Sand did it, too, and big deal.

It was more inexplicable to me that she was named Freud, considering her mother Mitzi was Sigmund's sister. I thought it might be one of those Restoin Roitfeld situations, where tradition takes a back seat to brand recognition, but no. Mitzi married her cousin Moritz Freud. Still, when Tom married Jankew Seidmann, she did keep the Freud.

But the point is, she made incredible children's books, beautiful, simple, and occasionally odd, with illustrations you'd kind of want to run by her uncle, just to see what he made of them. They were mostly published by the company she and Jankew ran, Peregrin Verlag.

At Bibliodyssey, Peacay has some artwork from her first title, Das Baby-Liederbuch/ The Baby Songbook, published in 1914. That's where the mushroom kid up top comes from.


And at 50 Watts, Will has a roundup of images from many of Tom's other titles, including the counting and color books; Tom's most famous book, Die Fischreise/The Fish's Journey (1923), which was reissued in 2009; and Buch Der Hasengeschichten/ The Book of Rabbit Stories (1924), which, wow. I purposely chose this image of the swaddled rabbit getting a ceremonial beatdown because it is only the second or third most awesomely wacked out illustration in the book. Trust me, you'll want to be clicking through on that one.

The Baby Songbook [bibliodyssey]
The Rabbit Dreams of Dr. Freud's Niece [50watts]
Buy Die Fischreise at, for like EUR20 []
Tom Seidmann-Freud [wikipedia via google translate]
Tom Seidmann-Freud site with gallery and selling little scanned prints, which, hmm. []

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