Man’s Crown of Distinction

This frontispiece by A. H. Winkler from a 1943 version of Webster’s Encyclopedic Dictionary depicts an angel bestowing a crown honoring and recognizing humanity’s achievements in understanding the world around them and the greater Universe. This art from a book in my collection is a bit of evidence that stupidity wasn’t always considered a virtue in America and was in fact the opposite. The pursuit of knowledge and understanding was once held as a duty, a birthright and a gift of destiny.