Oliver Herford

Oddly enough there isn’t much written (at least online) about the life of Oliver Herford despite his work being so popular. He was born in Sheffield, England in 1863. His family emigrated to the United States when young Oliver was six. He returned to England for his schooling, coming home to America to Antioch College in Ohio. He studied art in London and Paris.

He worked for both Life and Harper’s Weekly early in his career. His wife was the playwright Margaret Regan. The pair appear to have been a party of New York Society and he is remembered almost as much for his wit as his art; despite having illustrated a number of books written by himself and others.

Some of my favorite Oliver Herford quotations include:

“There is no time like the pleasant.”

“Cat: a pygmy lion who loves mice, hates dogs, and patronizes human beings.”

“Darling: the popular form of address used in speaking to a member of the opposite sex whose name you cannot at the moment remember.”

Of course, here at ReusableArt.com, we’re all about the art. So without further ado, here’s our growing collection of Oliver Herford illustrations for your enjoyment.

Snail and Flowers

Cartoon-like snail and flowers drawing from 1911. Grey and green snail with white and pink flowers. One flower almost looks like it’s screaming for help.

Broken Umbrella

Inside out and broken umbrella drawing from 1911. Free download from ReusableArt.com.

Skating Cupid

Charming sketch-like drawing of an ice skating Cupid. A most unique and interesting image for Valentine’s Day.

Stormy Weather

Cupid facing a bit of stormy weather. Peaking out from underneath his umbrella and checking to see if the rain has stopped falling. Super cute.

Lightning Strike

Does it take a lightning strike to find love? It looks like Cupid might be trying to find out with his heart-shaped kite.

Fishing for Love

Fishing for love in all the right places. Cupid braves the thin ice and casts out his hook to find love in this charming Valentine’s illustration from 1911.

Bird on House

Bird on house. Simple concept becomes quite charming with a house built for birds, hung in a tree that’s full of pink flowers. Vintage birdhouse drawing.

Cupid Reading

Charming drawing for Valentine’s Day of Cupid reading. Could he be checking his list to see who will be lucky in love?

Yak Drawing

Leave it to the talented Oliver Herford to make even a yak look cute.