“Smoke Houses” by Eric Sloane, N.A.. This charmer is from Eric’s 1966 book “An Age of Barns”. The book was a first for Eric Sloane in many ways, but the two most significant were that it was his first “coffee table” sized book, and it was arguably his first real tour de force in large, fully rendered pen and ink illustration. As evident here, Eric could turn a seemingly mundane aspect of early American vernacular architecture (anything from outhouses to smoke houses!) into a fascinating, entertaining, educational, and charming drawing. Interestingly, Eric almost always created illustrations to size, meaning that he had a good idea of how much space on a page he would have on a finished, published book, and worked his drawings to that size. One of the aspects of illustrations I love from An Age of Barns is that they are all large, much larger than the finished space they occupy in the published book. Whether Eric was ensuring that the published drawings retained a higher level of detail – or if the original idea was to print An Ag of Barns in a larger size (or both) – his pen and ink illustrations created for the book are magnificent. Note also the incorporation of a lined and signed mat.