I purchased this book recently, purely for the frontispiece illustration. Something about this muse that resonated with me, or with my own muse perhaps. Actually, anyone who has acknowledged a visit from their own muse will probably recognize this humorous trait that likely inhabits all muses. The book: The Laughing Muse, by Arthur Guiterman, Harper & Brothers, NY (1915). This is a collection of humorous, whimsical verse, most, if not all, of which appears to be pretty boring drivel. But there was that laughing muse holding the world in his hands, smiling down on us. It doesn't appear to be condescending. More of a laughing with us, not at us kind of look. Maybe he's employing a smile and the whole world smiles with you kind of posture. Maybe he's noticed that, as a planet, we have a few situations that could use a smile.
I'm curious about the artist, but can't quite make out his name. Looks like Hunter Clay, but not quite. Hopefully, I can pick up the trail on this illustrator and see where it leads. Right now, the trail is cold--nothing to smile about.