While Vojtech Kubasta is my favorite illustrator to come out of Czechoslovakia in the 1960’s he is by no means the only artist I admire from that era. Rudolph Lukes was an illustrator for the country’s publishing giant, Artia Prague. His color palette and design aesthetic are decidedly of the time and I find a certain charm in his depiction of animals. On display today is Turtle and Her Friends that was printed for Golden Press in 1968. We are all familiar with Golden Books and their ubiquitous gold spines lining most children’s bookshelves, but they did venture into a limited pop-up venture.
Lukes is restricted to only four spreads and the compositions are quieter than his contemporaries. I don’t know if it’s the simplicity and directness of the pop-ups or nostalgia for my youth, but the work always stands out to me when I see it in collections. It is unclear who paper engineered the pop-ups, but many of his titles are quite similar and I would not be surprised if Lukes was in fact the paper engineer. If anyone can shed some light of the life of Rudolph Lukes I would be very appreciative.