Original artwork, of page 29, for the book Tootle, written by Gertrude Crampton with illustrations by Tibor Gergely, published by Golden Press in New York, New York, in 1945.
Born in Budapest, Hungary into a middle-class Jewish family, Tibor Gergely (1900-1978) was captivated by art and culture at a young age. Known as a graphic illustrator and a caricature artist, Gergely’s early works documented Jewish life before the rise of Hitler. By 1939 the political situation in Europe was dire, and Gergely and his wife immigrated to America. They settled in New York and his love affair with the city never waned. He was enchanted with his new life in a postwar New York that included skyscrapers, rushing traffic and the excitement of life in the big city.
By 1940 Gergely was working for the American Artists and Writers Guild and became a popular illustrator for Little Golden Books, providing drawings for more than seventy books, including illustrations for The Taxi that Hurried, Make Way for the Thruway, Five Little Firemen and Tootle. His portrayals of America's rapidly expanding transportation systems and the recognition of public servants foretold the dramatic social and cultural events that would impact American society in the 1950s.