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“Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.”

Matthew 19: 13-14

“Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him.Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.”

Luke 9:47-48


Ralph Pallen Coleman was born to William Herr Coleman, a Philadelphia grocer, and Emma Coleman, a saloon keeper. He had one brother, William B. Coleman. Coleman attended grade school at the Camac School in North Philadelphia. Initially, he was athletically inclined and organized baseball teams at his home church, Bethlehem Presbyterian Church. His earliest existing drawing is a pencil sketch of Revolutionary soldiers that he drew in 1901, when he was nine years old. While attending Central High School which specialized in the classic teachings of Latin and Greek, he was awarded a partial scholarship to art school and left high school early. He received his formal art education at the Philadelphia School of Industrial Art which was then part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It is now an independent university called The University of the Arts. It was here that he learned the formal techniques of draftsmanship under the influence of Walter H.Everett, a teacher of illustration and one of the most highly regarded technicians of his time. Coleman displayed his facility for drawing the human face and figure and won first prize in a life drawing competition. Shortly thereafter, in 1913, he decided to strike out on his own by leaving school and taking a small studio, with two other students at 6th & Walnut Streets just a few blocks from the school and across the street from Curtis Publishing Company. Early assignments were not easy to come by for the illustrator. His first sale — a small line drawing to the American Sunday School Union. Sometimes, Coleman turned author so that he would end up both writing and illustrating his own stories.

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