Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Lee Conrey

For over 20 years between the 1920's through 1940's Lee Conrey contributed thousands of black and white illustrations to a Sunday newspaper supplement called "The American Weekly". His mastery of line art stands with the best of the last hundred years like Charles Dana Gibson, Alex Raymond, and Frank Frazetta.

A master draughtsman he managed to give his work appeal, and an animated quality. The characters he drew each had their own unique personalities and never relied on stock expressions.

Conrey could expertly handle all manner of subject matter from humor to horror to romance. He was able modify his art to fit the needs of the story while still maintaining a strong appealing style.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Coming soon!

Ethel Hays, Dean Cornwell, Gilbert Bundy, John Holmgren, Roy Nelson, E Simms Campbell, J.C Leyendecker, John Lagatta, Russel Patterson, Walter A Clark, Earl Oliver Hurst, Gladys Parker, Lee Conrey, Sam Berman, Wilton Williams, Carlos Sanchez, EnochBolles, Haddon Sundblom, Robert O'Reid, James Trembath, Alan Foster, and many more!

Ruth Eastman

Ruth Eastman did her best work, I believe, on the covers of the humor magazine Judge. Her images of "Flappers" have a spontaneity and graphic appeal that are a great contrast to her more restrained work for mainstream woman's magazines. A very prolific but largely forgotten illustrator. Like Vernon Grant She is not even mentioned in the 1984 book "The Illustrator in America". I'm not sure if they made it into the current edition. Hopefully we can give Her the recognition She deserves here. I'll post more in the future.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Vernon Grant

One of my favorite illustrators. Bold design, great use of color, and character design that spring to life. These covers must have jumped visually off of the newsstand. If you Google "Vernon Grant" very few images can be found of this popular illustrator. We hope to fix that here. More to come!

Welcome to Lost Art.

When I was a teenager, trying to find my way as an artist, I spent many hours in our little public library in Midland, Texas scouring through books on Illustrators, cartooning, and comics.

While I tried my hardest to appreciate the "fine art" books on the nearby shelves they always seemed vacant and lifeless.

The Illustrator and cartoon books, on the other hand, had a sense of adventure, history, humor, or every other attribute the artist was trying to convey. I was so excited when I found amazing Robin Hood Illustrations by N.C. Wyeth in the book "Treasury of the Great Children's Book Illustrators" that I had my parents take me to make really bad Xerox copies. I took these copies to art school with me. I think I still have them somewhere.

I see now the key distinction between fine art and illustration, at least within the last 80 years, is that Fine Art has generally been focused on self expression while Illustration's job has always been communication. Within that communication the best artist found not only a place for self expresion, But were also able to move the emotions, imaginations and actions of a mass audience through times of war, The Great Depression, Prohibition, and every other manner of social or political situations.

Most of the images posted on this site are scanned and restored from my personal collection and are unavailable elswhere in anyform. Unless you find the original publications, of course. If you would like to contribute artwork, biographical information, or articles on illustration. Please contact me.