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John Bauer: Swedish Fairy Tale Illustrator


Princess Tuvstarr by John Bauer


When I (Cramer) was an undergraduate, I was an exchange student at Södra Vätterbygdens Folkhögskola in Jönköping, Sweden, the hometown of the beloved Swedish fairy tale illustrator John Bauer. Most renowned for his work in a collection of Swedish folk and fairy tales called Bland tomtar och troll (Among Gnomes and Trolls), Bauer's illustrations capture the beauty and mystery of the Swedish landscape and mythology. I visited the Jönköping Läns Museum, which boasts the largest collection of Bauer artwork in the world, and a print of Tuvstarr that I bought at the gift shop hangs in my dining room. Tuvstarr is the heroine of the Swedish fairy tale “Story of Skutt the Moose and Little Princess Tuvstarr.” She loses her golden heart in a deep lake in the forest and remains frozen there forever, gazing into the depths of the water.

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