Beautiful Art by Well Known Authors

A few weeks ago, we wrote about Dr. Seuss’s virtually unknown artwork, a series of work he called “Midnight Paintings”. While he was known for his memorable stories and quirky drawings, the “Midnight Paintings” showed a different side of his artistic prowess. Dr. Seuss was not the only published author with underground artistic skills. Here’s a look at some art by authors you may not have known existed: 

Dr. Seuss 

Yes, we already shared some of his lesser-known illustrations and paintings, but his World War II propaganda work is well worth sharing. The National World War II Museum reported that from 1941 to 1943, “Geisel created more than 400 political cartoons for PM Newspaper in New York—tackling such subjects as racial discrimination, the dangers of isolationism, social injustice and anti-Semitism, political machinations, the war effort, and political leadership.” His WWII work mixes humor with fear, and definitely some xenophobia, all general associated with propaganda.

Dr. Seuss images courtesy of The National World War II Museum

Sylvia Plath

Image courtesy of 

Plath is a beautiful poet, a wonderful writer whose work is emotionally affecting and haunting. She was also an amazing visual artist, as skilled with pen and ink as she was with a type-writer. Really- her illustrations are breathtaking. 

Cow near Grantchester

The Bell Jar

Untitled [Male Portrait in Profile]

Tabac Opposite Palais de Justice

Plath images courtesy of

J.R.R. Tolkien

After my coworkers showed me some of Tolkien’s artwork, I decided to write this article. His art is imaginative and beautiful. J.R.R. Tolkien: Artists and Illustrator is a great collection of his work, “from his childhood painting and drawings to his final sketches.” His visual work can also be found in The Art of the Hobbit, which gives us a fascinating look at what Tolkien’s fantastical world looked like- from his perspective. Our guess is that once you get a glimpse of his work, you’ll seek out these collections. 

They Slept in Beauty Side by Side, drawn in 1904 at age 12

‘The Lonely Mountain’ from ‘The Art of the Hobbit’

The influence of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series extended well into Tolkiens visual art. Imagine a movie adaptation where Middle Earth looked like Tolkien’s art; now that would be awesome! 

All Tolkien images and featured image courtesy of Brain Pickings.