Friday, March 30, 2018

Weda Yap, Illustrator

Weda Yap was born Louise Drew Cook on December 11, 1894, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1900 United States Federal Census
429 Linden Street, Camden, New Jersey
Household Members
Name / Age
Louise D Cook, 60 [grandmother]
Allen D Cook, 29 [father; photo artist]
Bertha W Cook, 24 [mother]
Louise D Cook, 5
Margaret Cook, 4 [sister]

1910 United States Federal Census
1220 46 Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Household Members
Name / Age
Allen Drew Cook, 38 [photographer]
Bertha Cook, 32
Louise Cook, 15
Margaret Cook, 14
Dorothy Cook, 2

The Thirty-Sixth Annual Report of the Trustees of the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art, 1912
page 46: Certificates
School of Applied Art
Industrial Drawing (Certificate A)—…Louise Drew Cook

Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art Commencement Exercises Programme
June 6, 1912
page 18: Certificates
School of Applied Art
Industrial Art (Certificate A)
Louise Drew Cook

The Thirty-Eighth Annual Report of the Trustees of the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art, 1914
page 35: Prizes
School of Applied Art
Emma S. Crozer Prize, $20.00—Offered for the best work in Drawing awarded to Helen Marie Brown
Honorable mention to Conrad Dickel, Louise Drew Cook, Helen Weiser.

Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art Commencement Exercises Programme
June 4, 1914
page 5: Diplomas, Prizes and Certificates
Emma S. Crozer Prize, $20.00—Offered for the best work in Drawing.
Awarded to Helen Marie Brown
Honorable mention to Conrad Dickel
Honorable mention to Louise Drew Cook
Honorable mention to Helen Weiser

1915 New Jersey, State Census
429 Linden Street, Camden, New Jersey, USA
Household Members
Allen Drew Cook [photographer]
Bertha Cook
Louise Drew Cook
Margaret Cook
Dorothy Drew Cook
Mary Fels Cook

New York, New York, Marriage License
Name: Louise Cook
Marriage License Date: April 18, 1917
Marriage License Place: New York City, New York
Spouse: Edward R Cheyney

The Sun
(New York, New York)
October 19, 1917
page 8: Draft Objectors Are Found Guilty
Cheyney and Fraina, Seized in Labor Temple Raid, Face Prison Terms.
Edward Ralph Cheyney, son of Dr. Edward Cheyney, professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania, was convicted in the Federal court yesterday, together with Lento C. Fraina, a Socialist orator, of conspiracies against the enforcement of the draft law.

Both men were arrested last month in a raid on a meeting of the League of Conscientious Objectors at Labor Temple. Federal officials are determined to crush this organization, which is an off-shoot of Emma Goldman’s propaganda, and when the two prisoners appear before Judge Robert T. Ervin for sentence next Monday morning Harold A. Content, Assistant United States Attorney, will ask that the maximum penalty of the law be Imposed. This is two years In prison and $10,000 fine.

Cheyney’s elderly father attended his trial, as did his wife [Louise], who is almost childlike in appearance. A near relative Horace I. Cheyney, acted as his attorney. There was also a fair sprinkling of conscientious objectors in evidence in the court room, among them being Charles Sonnenschein, one of the leaders of the movement.

United States Marshal Thomas D. McCarthy, who broke up the meeting at Labor Temple and silenced the seditious tongues that were spitting defiance at the conscription law. was one of the witnesses for the Government The Marshal and agents of the Department of Justice told how they had heard Fraina say: “We will not let them conscript us either for combatant or non-combatant service. They cannot draft a conscientious objector.”

Cheyney is 28 years old. Fraina is 29 years, but looks much older. His physical condition is such that the army would not be apt to accept him for any service.

New York Call
November 16, 1917
Peace By Arts Is Council Aim
New Branch of People’s Society Will Spread Propaganda Through Plays, Cartoons, Etc.
Peace and democracy propaganda through the fine arts is the purpose of a new division of People’s Council activity. Magazine articles, booklets, cartoons, music, painting, plays, and the like, will be the mediums through which a new artists’ section of the council movement will work.

At a meeting at national headquarters, 138 West 13th street, steps toward permanent organization were taken. Joseph Gollomb, widely known as a Socialist journalist, was elected temporary chairman. James Waldo Fawcett, editor of The Dawn, a radical peace magazine, was chosen temporary secretary. Louise P. Lochner, executive secretary of the People’s Council, represented the administration of the organization.

The secretary, E. Ralph Cheyney, and Dr. Maximilian Cohen, were elected delegates to the New York District Chapter Council. Arthur C. Wyman was elected chairman of the committee on permanent organization, which will report at the next meeting, to be held Monday evening, November 26, at Council House. Among others active in the new work are Duncan Macdougall, who will be with the players’ section, and Louise Drew Cook, who will be with the painters’ group.

The first activity of the Arts Council will be a benefit entertainment for the People’s Council, which will be given Sunday evening, November 18, at the People’s House. Under the direction of Mr. Edward Roosevelt, the Arts
Council Players will present Bernard Shaw’s “Press Cuttings.” The cast will include Helene d’Arraande, Virginia Johnston, Constance Browning. Arnold Ensen and Gregory Montekeith.

Tickets for this entertainment may be had at one dollar each from Elizabeth Freeman, care People’s Council, 138. West 13th street, Chelsea 9300.

1920 United States Federal Census
429 Linden Street, Camden, New Jersey
Household Members
Name / Age
Allen D Cook, 49 [photographer]
Bertha W Cook, 43
Margaret Cook, 23
Dorothy Cook, 12
Mary Cook, 8
Edward R Cheyney, 24
Louise D Cheyney, 25
Gertrude L Cheyney, 1

Roman Chu Phay Yap sailed aboard the S.S. Wenatchee on May 24, 1921 from Manila, Philippines. He arrived in Seattle, Washington on June 30. He was admitted on July 2 as a student under Section 6 of the Chinese Exclusion Act. His Case File, 38801/14-1, is at the National Archives, Seattle, Washington; Brita Merkel, archivist. In the interview, the immigration inspector asked, “What do you expect to do in the United States?” Chu Phay answered, “Studying Mining Engineering in the University of Washington.”

Chu Phay attended the Colorado School of Mines. In the 1925 school yearbook, The Prospector, he was a junior in the Class of 1925 (below).

Here comes the Chinese arbitrator of the world. Yap is a study in ceaseless activity, unsettled curiosity, and all-round adaptability. His favorite reading is something light, like the “Theory of Relativity” and his literary recreation a compilation of the racial characteristics of the different peoples of the world. Yap comes to America with the intention of entering the journalistic field as a free lance; but he seems as present directing his energies in the study of physical chemistry.

A biography at the Institute of Process Engineering said “He earned Master Degree and Doctor Degree in physical chemistry of metals from the University of Pennsylvania in 1925 and 1929 respectively.”

According to the 1930 census, Weda was 30 years old when she married Chu Phay who was 24 at the time. Apparently they met in Philadelphia. Weda’s naturalization application said she married Chu Phay on February 19, 1927, in Newark, New Jersey. In the mid-1940s, they divorced. Chu Phay remarried and took his family to China.

New York, New York, Extracted Marriage Index
Name: Edward R Cheyney [Date of divorce from Weda Yap is not known.]
Marriage Date: January 22, 1927
Marriage Place: Manhattan, New York
Spouse: Lucia Trent

Washington, Passenger List
Louise Drew Yap
Last Residence: China
Departure Place: Shanghai, China
Departure Date: October 5, 1929
Arrival Place: Seattle, Washington
Arrival Date: October 20, 1929
Ship Name: Yokohama Maru

1930 United States Federal Census
24 Grove Street, Manhattan, New York, New York
Household Members:
Name / Age
Chu Pai Yap, 28
Louise Yap, 34

Abigail’s Private Reason
Weda Yap (author and illustrator)
Macmillan Publishing Company, 1932

Cricket and the Emperor’s Son
Elizabeth Coatsworth
Illustrated by Weda Yap
MacMillan Company, 1932

Lovell Beall Triggs
Illustrated by Weda Yap
Century Company, 1932

The Atlantic
July? August? 1936
Life within a walled city.
Dear Atlantic,—
We don’t often realize that we are living in an old walled city. The line of truncated stone blocks which I glimpse from my window could just as well be the top of a house. But recently we had an adventure that brought realization.

Tsi Chung came back from Shanghai on Tuesday and the same day told how a friend of his would be coming through Nanking on the Shanghai-Peiping express the next Saturday night. He would get the car (the one he has the right to call) and I was to make some real American club sandwiches and ice a bottle of white wine and make a quart of coffee in the thermos, and all three of us, including Wang, would meet the train and have a midnight supper in the short time allowed.

So I fixed the food. Wang got the car, and we all rode down to Hsiakwan station. The train got in at five minutes to eleven, and Tsi Chung’s friend met us on the platform. He took us into the dining car and we spread the feast.

Now the train was scheduled to stay in the station for twenty minutes. Then it is broken into three sections and the locomotive takes these off one at a time on to a flatboat by means of which the Yangtse River is crossed to Pukow. We had figured that the diner, being in section 3, would go over last. Much to our surprise we discovered ourselves being hauled on to the flat. Then, before we moved forward, the other two sections were likewise brought aboard, and there we were crossing the river at midnight to Pukow! Well, we made a great joke of it and finished our wine and coffee and sandwiches. When we docked on the other side in about forty minutes we thought we could get right off, a la Hoboken, and take a ferry back. Not so! We had to wait another thirty minutes for that durned locomotive to pull us all ashore. By that time we had missed the boat, and we had to wait fifty minutes for the last very. It proved to be, not the regular passenger ferry, but nothing more than a tug, or lighter. But anyway it got us over.

Meantime it had started to rain, a fine drizzle, which made the night velvety soft and all the lights along the river mysterious. The little boat got a lot of spray. I enjoyed it, an so did Wang, but Tsi Chung, as usual, was having fits imagining all the awful things that might happen.

When we reached the river’s brink we luckily found three sleepy rickshaw men to pull us back to the station. But when we got to Hsiakwan our car was gone! The very station was dark, locked and barred. At three o’clock in the morning no public telephone was available. And it was pouring rain.

So, for what was a fortune to them, our three solitary rickshaw men promised to pull us to Wu Tai Shan for fifty cents apiece; a distance of over three miles! We started off at an easy pace, all behind oilcloth shields, and all went well till we got to the city wall. Here the great bronze gates were closed. Now what?

Tsi Chung didn’t have a card with him, nor was he wearing either of his medals. Wang had his, however, so he knocked gently, very gently, on the big iron doors.

No answer.

‘Why don’t you rap harder, Wang?’

“If I’m impolite they won’t hear at all!’

He knocked gently again, and cleared his throat politely. Behind the bronze someone yawned. Quiet again.

He rapped with his knuckles. A voice answered: ‘Who’s there?’

Wang explained in Chinese. Then, on the far side of the three great gates, a small door just large enough to admit a man’s face, and placed near the ground, opened. A stooping soldier looked out of this and called to us. We moved over.

Wang explained again, but the soldier was skeptical. It wasn't until the very wilted American t’ai-t’ai got out of her shrouded cab and knelt down to smile her sweetest that the soldierly hearts melted. Maybe they saw another international scandal in leaving a foreign t’ai-t’ai cooling her heels in the rain. Anyway, they finally let us all in, though at first they wanted us to leave our rickshaw men. Picture us walking home after that jaunt! We arrived safely at 4.30 a.m., Tsi Chung none the worse for wear but mad as the devil. He still is. Wang had a swell time. And I, you see, gleaned a story to write home about, which doesn’t happen too often.

Nanking, China

Abmac Bulletin
American Bureau for Medical Aid to China
January 1939
Volunteers Workers in the Office This Month
Mrs. C. [Chu] P. [Pai] Yapp [sic; Weda Yap]

Abmac Bulletin
American Bureau for Medical Aid to China
March 15, 1939
Volunteers Workers in the Office This Month
Mrs. C. [Chu] P. [Pai] Yap [Weda Yap]

New York, State and Federal Naturalization Record
Name: Bertha Louise Drew Cook Yap
Birth Date: December 11, 1894
Birth Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Address: 3 Milligan Place, New York, New York
Occupation: Commercial Artist
Record Type: Petition
Petition Place: New York, USA
Spouse: Chu Phay Yap, born October 6, 1902, Manila, Philippines
Marriage: February 19, 1927, Newark, New Jersey
Naturalization admission: November 13, 1939

The Devon Treasure Mystery
Margaret Wilson
Weda Yap
Random House, 1939

Stories for Little Children
Pearl S. Buck
Illustrated by Weda Yap
John Day Co., 1940

The Wild Pasture
Elenore Stratton
Illustrated by Weda Yap
Harper & Bros., 1940

Martha Lee Poston
Illustrated by Weda Yap
T. Nelson and Sons, 1941

Exploring the Jungle
JoBesse McElveen Waldeck
Illustrated by Weda Yap
D.C. Heath and Company, 1941

Sheker’s Lucky Piece
Lucile Saunders McDonald
Illustrated by Weda Yap
Oxford University Press, 1941

Treasures Long Hidden: Old Tales and New Tales of the East
Arthur Bowie Chrisman
Illustrated by Weda Yap
E.P. Dutton & Co., 1941

The Boys and Girls Mother Goose
Nettie King
Pictures by Jean Francis and Louise Drew
Samuel Lowe, 1942

China’s Story
Enid LaMonte Meadowcroft
Illustrated by Dong Kingman, Weda Yap and Georgi Helms
Crowell, 1942

Peter on the Min
Dorothy Clark
Illustrated by Weda Yap
Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co., 1942

Rico the Young Rancher
Patricia Crew Fleming
Illustrated by Weda Yap
D.C. Heath and Company, 1942

Story Parade, A Collection Modern Stories for Boys and Girls
Stories by Elizabeth Coatsworth, Laura Benet, Richard Bennett, James Tippitt, Mary Weekes, Mabel Leigh Hunt, Elsie Binns and others
Illustrations by Jon Nielsen; Patricia Lynch, Frank Dobias, Grace Paull, Ora Edwards, Richard Bennett, Weda Yap, Marguerite Davis, Paul Lantz and others
John C. Winston Company, 1944

Children of the Sun in Hawaii
Li Ling Ai
Illustrations by Weda Yap
D.C. Heath and Company, 1944

1944 Manhattan, New York, City Directory

Name: Mrs Weda Yap
Street address: 10 Patchin Place
Phone: GRamrcy 7-3644

China Institute Bulletin
Issues 23-47, 1944
Exhibit At China House
A charming Exhibit opened to public view on November the 12th, when China Institute, working in cooperation with the China Aid Council, sponsored a display of children’s books. Guests , among whom were large numbers of children, teachers, authors and members of the press, gathered in the Reception Hall, Music and Exhibit Rooms, the latter of which was decorated in bright colors equally appealing to the eyes of children and adults. The generally expressed desire was to sit down and read the attractively arranged books immediately. Among the several authors and illustrators whose books were on display were Mrs. Chiyi Chan, who wrote the “Good Luck Horse” in collaboration with her son, Plato Chan. Mr. Plato Chan and his sister, Christina Chan, both of whom collaborated on the book “Magic Monkey,” were also present; Mrs. Janet Fitch Sewall, who illustrated “Little Sister Sue” was among the guests; as were Mrs. Weda Yap, Miss Margaret Ayer, the well known illustrator; Mrs. Rose Quong, author of “Chinese Wit, Wisdom and Written Characters;” Miss Margaret Mead; and Dr. and Mrs. Edward Hume, the former being the author of “Doctors East, Doctors West.” Children and teachers from Miss Chapin’s School for Girls as well as from several girl’s day and boarding schools were among the guests who heard Mrs. C. Y. Chan and her son Plato speak about the books....

1945 Manhattan, New York, City Directory
Name: Mrs Weda Yap
Street address: 55 West 55 Street
Phone: CIrcle 7-4134

1946 Manhattan, New York, City Directory
Name: Mrs Weda Yap
Street address: 55 West 55 Street
Phone: CIrcle 7-4134 family tree said Chu Phay Yap remarried in May 1946; date of divorce is not known.

Cricket and the Emperor’s Son
Hunan Harvest
Theophane Maguire
Illustrated by Weda Yap
Bruce Publishing Company, 1946

The Catholic Digest
January 1947
Weda Yap, Catholic Artist
Wed Yap’s familiarity with the din and bustle of Oriental streets has given her an ability to concentrate in the midst of mild pandemonium. Even the clatter and clamor of noon hour in a New York restaurant just didn’t exist for the pretty, brown-eyes woman as she talked animatedly of a full and fascinating life.

Confronted with her youthful vivacity and charm, it is difficult for one to accept Mrs. Yap either as the mother of a grown daughter or as a highly successful illustrator. Yet she is both proud parent and busy career woman, having recently resumed her art work after returning to this country from a lengthy stay in the Far East. “I got my artistic bearings in China,” she stated. “I had traveled extensively here at home and in Europe after leaving the Art Student’s league in New York and the Philadelphia School of Industrial Art, but it wasn’t until I took root in China that I really felt I was making progress.”

Such leading publishing houses as Harpers, Random House, Bruce, E. P. Dutton, Oxford Press, John Day, Appleton-Century and Macmillan soon agreed with her, backing their faith with contracts. Her authentic and colorful depictions of Chinese life and scenes have graced several recent books and served to brighten many national magazines. Though she is a portrait and miniature painter of ability and has occasionally tried her hand at writing, Mrs. Yap is best known as illustrator of such popular books as Father Theophane Maguire’s recent best-seller, Hunan Harvest; Pearl Buck’s Stories for Little Children; Martha Poston’s Ching-li, which was sold in this country by United China Relief; and Children of the Sun, written by Li Leing-ai [sic].

Weda Yap, which in Chinese means “witty and sagacious sage,” is a pseudonym for Philadelphian Louise Drew Cook, whose ancestry is a typically American blend of European strains. On the paternal side, she is descended from New England Mayflower stock with such historically intriguing ornaments as Elder Brewster, John Alden, and the sought-after Priscilla on the family tree. Maryland Irish and Colonial Dutch dominate the maternal strain.

“So you see,” she smiled, “I am a blend of practically every race, with: Celtic temperament and a Chines heart.”

She describes her parents as “non sectarian liberals in whose view of life there was no room for social intolerance. I was brought up on Walt Whitman’s cosmic consciousness and in my childhood home every creed and color were as welcome as brothers at our table. I remember a Hindu in a pink silk turban, smelling of attar of roses, and a Chinese laundryman who turned out to be an exiled member of the Sun Yat Sen revolutionary government.”

Those New England forebears were mostly hardy seafaring folk engaged in whaling and in the China trade; the women independent, domineering types, accustomed to running things during the long absences of their husbands and fathers at sea. From them Weda has inherited a strong tradition of liberalism in the best American interpretation of that often misused term. Each generation of her family has been in the forefront of its era’s battle for freedom, from the days of the American Revolution, through the Abolition period, right down to the struggle for woman’s suffrage. During the recent war years, Mrs. Yap suspended a freelance career long enough to spend two years in a war plant as a marine draftsman. The Army-Navy “E” pin and the union card she earned from that experience are among her proudest possessions.

It was on board ship returning from China, where she had lived several years under circumstances that led her to know and love its fascinating people, that she met a group of Catholic missionaries, also homeward bound. A mutual interest in the magnetic land they were leaving kept them together during the voyage and maintained their friendship. Four years later, after serious study and contemplation, Weda Yap was received into the Church by one of those same Passionist missionaries. “It was the most peaceful moment of my life. I felt as if I could at last relax and rest after a long and tiring race.”

But relaxing is not one of Weda Yap’s best accomplishments, nor is it one of her ambitions. At present she is engaged in helping to organize the Catholic Artists guild, an artists’ corporative group constituted on the principles of Quadragesimo Anno.

The group, meeting in old St. Peter’s church on Barclay street in New York under the spiritual direction of Msgr. Edward Moore, is composed of artists and illustrators from three states. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Though not yet formally constituted, guild members have been meeting each week for the past year to study and discuss corporative principles and the doctrine of the mystical Body as related to the art world. It will soon send out an invitation to the public to become associated in the work, aims and activities of the CAG. Thus they hope to avoid even the appearance of self-selected pontiffs and to get help and advice from those in other walks of life.

When not engaged in working for the guild, drawing in her midtown studio, or conferring with authors and publishers about forthcoming books, Weda Yap devotes her time to an international circle of friends and to the Filipino Woman’s club, of which she is a director. She firmly believes that American Catholics should give every possible assistance to the Philippines, not only because they were our staunch comrades in arms and former political wards, but also because the islands are the strongest outpost of Catholicism in the turbulent Far East.

Catholic friends asking how her acceptance of Catholicism affected her views on life usually receive an answer both stimulating and sobering—stimulating because it reveals the extent and depth of her love for her new-found faith; sobering because it emphasizes by comparison, the often lackadaisical acceptance of this gift and its responsibilities by too many “born” Catholics.

“No one can accept the faith without its profoundly affecting his view of life,” she said. “Today, my intention is to tie in my work, experience of life, and new faith with Catholic Action, in the spirit of the encyclicals. I hope in that way to do my part towards meeting what I believe the most urgent test of modern Christian civilization, the maladjustment of racial relationships. I may seem a fool rushing in where angels and experts fear to tread these days. I don’t belong in either category. I’m just an average human being whose pattern of life led me to observe the tragic effects of race prejudice around the globe. Doesn’t it look as if God had [missing text] It was this assurance among others that persuaded me to accept the faith. Any world traveler can testify that in those areas where Catholic culture is traditional and still predominates, the heresy of racism is practically nonexistent unless and until introduced as a byproduct of world imperialism and secular materialistic influences.”

Mrs. Yap further believes that until the injunction of St. Francis of Assisi that “love is the solution of all social relationships” is accepted, men will continue to struggle in the confusions and distrusts which have brought them to the present crisis and threatens the future of mankind and all civilization.

“Love is the greatest known liberator of man’s vital energies. The saints’ capacity for love makes them what they are. Somewhere between the average man and the saint on the way of universal love the great men of art have striven to perfect their vision of His design, to help those who cannot by themselves see and love as well as they. That effort will always be the proper social function and religious vocation of the artist. That is why and how Catholic artists can help smooth race relationships.

“The Catholic artist must make others see how the color of the skin, texture of hair, the features and intricate bodily framework of each race of mankind are infinitely beautiful in God's sight because He created them as integral parts of His eternal design. And if they are good and beautiful to Him, why not to us? Why is it that a woman who will love and feed a Pekinese dog will hesitate to love and feed a Pekinese baby? Does the dear Lord require any of us to use kink-straightener on our hair or plastic surgery on our noses before we dare eat at His table and call Him brother?

“What is true of Catholic artists also applies to the entire Catholic body. We’re lagging behind the communists in their zeal to eradicate the poison of racial antagonisms. The social teachings of the Church are more profoundly moving and sincere than any of the shady ideologies propounded by the so-called radical movements, but Catholic practice of the Church’s social tenets is lagging. Is it any wonder that occasionally we hear the Church being smeared with the unjust names of ‘fascist’ and ‘reactionary,’ by those whose aim in life is to lead the underprivileged of the earth into the radical camp?”

As the afternoon wore on, the conversation veered back to one of Mrs. Yap’s favorite topics, her beloved China and its people. In capturing the spirit of the land and its indomitable inhabitants, she has done much to create a friendlier understanding in this country for our sprawling, ancient, trans-Pacific neighbor.

In addition to her assignments for practically all the major publishing houses, she was called by the Surgeon General's office of the U.S. War department, to illustrate a pamphlet used to instruct Chinese servants provided by the Chinese government to the American forces in China. She found this one of the most interesting artistic jobs she has ever tackled and was particularly delighted to know that the Chinese government had recommended her for the task.

At the present time, in addition to various free-lance activities, she is engaged in doing pastel portraits of children and working on a life of St. Francis Xavier for young people, all of which, when added to her regular assignments and missionary work for the Catholic Artists guild, leave little time for nonessentials. But in talking with Weda Yap, you soon get the impression that this interesting, forth-right woman has never had much time for the unessential things of life. Her ability to separate the intellectual wheat from the chaff has served her well, for not only has it brought her into the haven of the true faith, but it has also led her to set a splendid example for her fellow Catholics.

A woman of deep convictions, sparkling personality, unusual talent, and boundless enthusiasm, Weda Yap was aptly christened by her Chinese friends. She is truly a “witty and sagacious page” from the folio of modern art and an energetic crusader for that true liberalism which is synonymous with Catholicism.

The Little Red Dragon
Estelle Urbahns
Illustrated by Weda Yap
E.P. Dutton, Inc., 1947

In the Morning; Twenty Bible Verses
Louise Drew (pseudonym)
Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1947

The Mass for Boys and Girls
Rev. Joseph A. Dunney
Illustrated by Weda Yap
Macmillan, 1948

Arizona Republic
(Phoenix, Arizona)
July 21, 1948
Billy Rose
Somewhere on the isle of Manhattan lives a man by the name of Szymon Szwarc.

On the same island live Hyacinth Muckle, Weda Yap, Igna Wank, John T. de Blois Wack, A. Renietella Wappler, Hatzala Vaad and a gent named Frank Ix.

If you think I’m kidding, open the New York City Telephone Directory and check up on me. And while you’re at it, look sharp and you may spot one of these awesome monikers yourself. If you do, extract a drop of blood from your thumb, dip your pen in it and letter the name out on a piece of thin tissue. You will then be a full-fledged member of the Ancient and Honorable Order of Cognomen Collectors….

China Monthly
January 1949
page 3: Weda Yap
Beginning with this issue, presents for our readers a series of cartoons entitled, “Ah-Mee.” She will portray the spotlight of a Chinese laundry-man’s life in the United States. Mrs. Yap’s work has appeared in many Mission publications throughout the country.
page 11: Ah-Mee cartoon

1949 Manhattan, New York, City Directory
Name: Weda Yap
Street address: 266 West 11 Street
Phone: WAtkns 9-2821
Occupation: Illustrator

The Mystery of the Eighth Horse
Martha Lee Poston
Illustrated by Weda Yap
T. Nelson, 1949

Young Wings: The Magazine of the Boys’ and Girls’ Book Club
August 1949
page 15: My Father Encouraged My Art
by Weda Yap
My real name is Louise Drew Cook, and I was born in Philadelphia. My professional name, Weda Yap, was acquired from the Chinese during a long and close association with the Chinese. The ideographs which are used to write this name mean “a witty and sagacious page.” 
My father was an artist and encouraged me to become an illustrator. A full-time course at the Pennsylvania School of Arts when I was in my early teens was followed by years of study abroad — in Paris, Munich, Florence, and the Far East, principally China.

I enjoy traveling, especially by water, and never tire of going places and meeting people. My favorite sport is swimming. I have illustrated more than thirty books for both adults and young people.

They Live in Bible Lands
Grace W. McGavran
Illustrated by Weda Yap and Joseph Esconrido
Friendship Press, 1950

Forward Through the Ages
Basil Matthews
Maps and illustrations by Louise Drew
Friendship Press, 1951

Willy Wong, American
Vanya Oakes
Illustrated by Weda Yap
Julian Messner, 1951


Rain Hail Sleet and Snow
Nancy Larrick
Illustrated by Weda Yap
The Garrard Press, 1961

Aiken Standard
(South Carolina)
April 13, 1976
Aiken Artist Influenced by Her Years in China
Louise Weda Yap was drawn two directions as a child: her mother wanted her to be a writer, but her father was more interested in art.

…She began her professional career working as an illustrator for magazines and newspapers, concentrating on drawing children’s fashions for large department stores.

She married a Chinese scientist and accompanied him to his native land to live for six years. It was this period that affected her work most strongly and her most characteristic drawings are of Oriental people or landscapes.

…she was one of the few American artists who had an intimate knowledge of China. “I practically had a monopoly on illustrating Chinese fairy tales or any children’s stories which had Chinese characters in them,” she said.

…She did drawings for over 50 children’s books, one of which was by Pearl Buck. She also did paintings of Chinese scenes in watercolor, oil, pen-and-ink and wash.

…Mrs. Yap moved to Aiken last fall. She lives with her cat, Gin Sui Geenaah which means Very Beautiful Baby in Chinese.

…She is working on some sketches she brought from China which she wants to do in oils.

Then there’s the memories to be written from old diaries, letters and scrapbooks….

Yap passed away March 26, 1989, in Aiken, South Carolina. She was laid to rest at Fernwood Cemetery.

Further Reading
Through the Hourglass, Becoming Weda Yap

(Next post on Friday: Li Ling Ai, 1935–1939)

1 comment:

  1. This summary is amazing!! Weda Yap was my Aunt Dit, oldest sister of my mother, and an important person in my life.