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Maginel Wright Enright

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Maginel Wright Enright (19 June 1881 – 18 April 1966) was an artist and children's book illustrator of the early twentieth century. She provided illustrations for three of L. Frank Baum's books: The Twinkle Tales (1906), Policeman Bluejay (1907), and L. Frank Baum's Juvenile Speaker (1910).

She was born Margaret Ellen Wright in Weymouth, Massachusetts; she was the younger sister of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Her unusual name was a coinage of her mother's, a contraction of "Maggie Nell." She studied at the Chicago Art Institute, then began a career as a commercial artist. Her first job was with the Barnes, Crosby Co. of Chicago, where she began as a catalogue illustrator; there she met, and later married, fellow artist Walter J. Enright. He would illustrate Baum's Father Goose's Year Book in 1907.

The Enright's daughter Elizabeth was born on 17 September 1909 in Oak Park, Illinois. Elizabeth Enright would go on to enjoy a distinguished career as a children's book illustrator and author. Maginel Wright Enright later divorced her first husband and married lawyer Hiram Barney.

Wright Enright's first job as a book illustrator was The Twinkle Tales. She employed a bold, direct, simple style appropriate to the materials, and continued it in Baum's follow-up Policeman Bluejay.

The artist also illustrated a range of other books, including Johanna Spyri's Heidi (1921) and Mary Mapes Dodge's Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates (1918, with Edna Cooke). Alone or in collaboration with other artists, Wright Enright illustrated 63 books during her career; many of these were readers for young schoolchildren. She earned a high reputation for her taste and craftsmanship; her daughter credited her with revolutionizing textbook illustration with lively, graceful, imaginative pictures. Wright Enright wrote and illustrated The Baby's Record Through the First Year in Song and Story (1928), and compiled and illustrated Weather Signs and Rhymes (1931).

She was also a magazine illustrator and cover artist, working mainly for women's magazines like McClure's and the Ladies' Home Journal. Her autobiography, The Valley of the God-Almighty Joneses, was published in 1965, the year before her death.

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