Illustrated equine books to be displayed at Lanier Library for WEG

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, August 15, 2018

With strong, sure lines — often with pencil only — Paul Desmond Brown (1893-1958) brought hundreds of horses to life.

For him, every horse was a study in dynamic detail, from the muscles and conformation of jumping and galloping, to the expressiveness in the turn of a head. As an illustrator of more than 140 books, Brown added his artistic vision to such classics as “Black Beauty” and “National Velvet,” entertained children with “Sparkle and Puff Ball” and “Merrylegs,” and earned permanent shelf space in many personal libraries with deluxe sporting titles and highly collectible how-to volumes, such as the 1949 “Draw Horses.”

A collection of equestrian illustration books will be on display at the Lanier Library in September, in commemoration of the World Equestrian Games in Mill Spring. (Submitted photo)

To commemorate the World Equestrian Games, Harry Goodheart, owner Tryon Fine Books, has loaned up to 30 Paul Brown books from his store to Lanier Library for a September-only public display.

In the glass case at 72 Chestnut St., Tryon, visitors can see why Paul Brown has been called the “Master of Equine Art.”

Of special note is Brown’s “Croquet: Rules and Strategy for Home Play.” It was profusely illustrated, but published with not even one horse.

In this unique volume, inscribed to Mandy and George, Brown wrote “I have to put a horse in somehow,” and penciled a full-page illustration on the title page showing a polo player’s take on a croquet player.

For more information, people may call the Lanier Library 828-859-9535 or visit

– Submitted by Vincent Verrecchio