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Elbert Hubbard: An American Original - WNED | PBS

For Educators

Books as Art


Students will be researching the life and works of three artisans of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Walter Crane was a leader in book illumination in England and students will look at his contributions to creating handmade books. Dard Hunter was a Roycrofter and an expert in papermaking, graphic design and typefaces. Students will go online and use a simple interactive tool to create their own font as Hunter created his typefaces. Will Denslow was Hubbard's favorite illustrator. He was noted for his posters that often became illustrations in The Philistine and many Roycroft books. Students will look at Denslow's work and then go online and use drop and drag interactive software to create a poster in Denslow’s style.


Students will:
  • Become familiar with the elements of design
  • Study the artistic styles of Crane, Hunter and Denslow
  • Research the lives of Crane, Hunter and Denslow
  • Create works that are influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement and these artists work

Necessary Materials

  • Elements of Art Worksheets
  • Computer
  • Internet connectivity
  • Art Supplies

Relevant National Standards:
NETS 1, NETS 3, NA-VA.5-8.4

Teaching Procedure:

Elements of Design:


  • Completed Element of Design worksheet
  • Analysis sheet for design elements
  • Completed analysis of Walter Crane
  • Completed example of the Hunter inspired font or lettering
  • Completed poster in the style of Denslow

Extension Activities:

  • Students will go to and watch the videos and for parchment making, writing, illumination and binding.
  • Hold a class discussion and create a graphic representation on the whiteboard or a large sheet of paper that clearly shows the elements of the medieval books that are books and the parts that are art.
  • Create an illuminated page using a medieval design and water colors. Copy a short textual piece using a calligraphic pen and ink.
  • Take a fable or fairy tale or a story you have written and illustrate the first page of this story in Crane’s style, using his design techniques.

Online Resources

The Illustrator's Project: Walter Crane. University of Pittsburgh, Feb. 2006. Web. 10 Jan. 2010.

The Making of a Medieval Book. J. Paul Getty Museum, n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2010.

Walter Crane. Spartacus Education, n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2010.

Walter Crane and the Rhetoric of Art. Working Class Movement Library, 9 Jan. 2009. Web. 10 Jan. 2010.

Web Poster Wizard. ALTEC at the University of Kansas, n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2010.

The Wizard of Oz. Library of Congress, 30 June 2003. Web. 10 Jan. 2010.

W. W. Denslow. PBS, n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2010.

W. W. Denslow: The Seahorse Design. Dard Hunter Studios, n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2010.

Supplemental Material:

The Roycroft Community. Arts and Crafts Society, n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2010.

Saints, Sinners and Reformers. John H. Martin, 2005. Web. 10 Jan. 2010.

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Funding for Elbert Hubbard: An American Original provided by The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation
Elbert Hubbard: An American Original is a production of WNED-TV