Was Guy Pene du Bois also a children's book illustrator?
He was an illustrator, but not for children's books. In his early career he worked as a critic and illustrator for the journal "New York American." For the rest of his career, he was primarily a painter of scenes of New York society in the 1920s. However, his son William Pene du Bois was the illustrator of children's books like "Bear Party" and "The Twenty-One Balloons"!
I’m looking at these three paintings by du Bois and the frame seems to be integral to the paintings which raises a question for me: Are they part of the art or does the museum choose the frames? I wonder that a lot when I’m looking at art in museums.
A lot of visitors wonder the same thing! My understanding is that most of often, paintings do come to the museum in a frame (which may or may not be original). If the museum is charged with selecting a frame we aim to remain true the period in which the painting was created.
In the case of the du Bois paintings and other works from the 20th century, it is probable that they are still in their original frames! These frames may have been selected by the artist or an early collector. And, as du Bois was working in a post-photography world, the concept of “framing” and “cropping” would have been a consideration in his compositions.