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Lovecraft’s Drawings
Lovecraft was by no means an accomplished illustrator, but he never hesitated to pepper his letters with numerous marginal drawings. He drew maps of both real and fictional towns and created drawings of several of his monsters, sometimes in preparation for writing about them. Below is a sampling of Lovecraft’s more significant drawings with links to the Howard P. Lovecraft collection of the Brown [University] Digital Repository.
Annals of the Providence Observatory (1904)
In his youth, Lovecraft wrote many booklets about astronomy and chemistry filled with illustrations of heavenly bodies and chemical apparatus.
Saml Loveman, Esqr. (20 September 1924)
Samuel Loveman was one of Lovecraft’s best friends in New York City and Lovecraft drew this portrait of him. Loveman made a similar drawing of Lovecraft.
Nude, Bearded Lovecraft (28 May 1925)
On 1 January 1925, Lovecraft moved from Sonia’s Brooklyn apartment at 259 Parkside Avenue into new quarters at 169 Clinton Street. His clothes were later stolen from a dressing alcove that connected to the hallway outside his apartment. In this letter to his aunt, Lillian D. Clark, Lovecraft draws himself as “clothed” only in a long, flowing beard.
Floorplan of 169 Clinton Street, Brooklyn (15 June 1925)
In this letter to Maurice W. Moe, Lovecraft draws the plan of his room, showing the “dressing alcove” from which his clothes were stolen.
Floorplan of 10 Barnes Street, Providence (1 May 1926)
On 17 April 1926, Lovecraft returned to Providence. In this letter to Frank Belknap Long, Jr., Lovecraft not only shows the floorplan of his apartment, but also the layout of each wall.
Lovecraft Coat of Arms (24 September 1927)
In this letter to Frank Belknap Long, Jr., Lovecraft creates a coat of arms for himself, composed of the heraldry of his Lovecraft, Phillips, Allgood, and Place lines. He includes the motto, “Quae Amamus Tuemur”—“We Defend the Things We Love”.
Plot Notes for At the Mountains of Madness (early 1931)
Lovecraft made several pages of notes for At the Mountains of Madness, but this illustration of an “Old One” is particularly noteworthy.
Floorplan of 66 College Street, Providence (5 June 1933)
Lovecraft and his aunt Annie moved into new quarters on 15 May 1933. Lovecraft was thrilled with this antique home and wrote about it to many of his correspondents. He drew the floorplan of his rooms in a letter to Carl Ferdinand Strauch; other versions were included in a letter to Donald Wandrei (31 May 1933) and a letter to Alfred Galpin (24 June 1933).
Map of the Principal Parts of Arkham, Massachusetts (early 1934)
“One thing I did lately was to construct a map of Arkham, so that allusions in any future tale I write may be consistent.” (H. P. Lovecraft to Donald Wandrei, 28 March 1934)
The Blasted Heath (27 March 1934)
Although Lovecraft wrote “The Colour Out of Space” in 1927, he drew this image of the story’s “blasted heath” in a letter to F. Lee Baldwin eight years later.
Sketch of Cthulhu (11 May 1934)
In “The Call of Cthulhu” (1926), Lovecraft describes a statuette taken from the cultists in the Louisiana swamps. He drew this representation of it for his friend, Robert H. Barlow.
Map of College Hill, Providence (30 May 1934)
E. Hoffmann Price visited Lovecraft in Providence in June–July 1933. In this letter to Price nearly a year later, Lovecraft drew a map showing several places they visited together, including the “drug store where we got the beer”.
Pickman’s Model (21 June 1934)
Although Lovecraft wrote “Pickman’s Model” in 1926, Lovecraft likely drew this years later for one of his correspondents.
Plot Notes for “The Shadow out of Time” (1935)
Lovecraft’s two pages of notes for “The Shadow out of Time” feature a drawing of a member of the Great Race.
Kittens at Play (9 April 1936)
Between March and December 1936, Lovecraft wrote several letters to his next-door neighbor, Marian F. Bonner. The most frequent subject was the cats in the yards between their homes, dubbed by Lovecraft the “Κοµπων ’Αιλουρων Τάξισ” (Band of Elegant Cats).
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