THE BERENSTAINS BEFORE THE BEARS

In 1962 Stan and Jan Berenstain took a new book concept to their publisher, Random House. The story featured a family of bears. Their editor,Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss.) loved it. It was published and to great success. Thus the Berenstein Bears Series was born and continued for 40 years. It became one of the most […]

Edward Penfield: Master of the Poster.

Edward Penfield, while best known as the father of the American poster, was simply a master of graphic design and illustration. He studied at the Art Student’s League. Upon graduation he immediately found a job at Harper’s and served as the art director between 1891 and 1901. For five of those ten years he turned […]

John Gannam’s Amazing Watercolors

John Gannam was an extremely successful commercial illustrator whose life was something of a Cinderella story.  Born in Lebanon in 1905 as Fouzi Hanna Boughanam he came to America with his family in 1909. They settled in Chicago. Sadly, his father died when John was 14 and out of necessity he dropped out of school […]

Bundy’s Beauties

Born in 1911, Gilbert Bundy grew up in a number of oil boom towns throughout Oklahoma. His father was an oil company scout. After graduating high school, he went to work for a Kansas City engraving company. In 1929 he moved to New York to pursue his dream of becoming a cartoonist. He soon began […]

La Gatta’s Lovely Ladies

I knew John La Gatta. Ok, knew might not be exactly the right word. But I was in the same room with him on a number of occasions. I was a greenhorn student at The Art Center School in Los Angeles in the early sixties, fresh out of high school and had delusions of becoming […]

Robert Fawcett: At the Scene of the Crime

From the moment he could hold a pencil, Robert Fawcett began to draw. It turned out he had a true talent for it. Born in England but raised mostly in Canada and then New York,  Fawcett dropped out of school at 14 to apprentice himself to an engraving shop and to work odd jobs until […]

A.B. Frost’s Early Street Sketches and Reportage

Arthur Burdette Frost’s early work was principally in pen line – like most book and magazine illustrations of the period. Line drawings reproduced better and were cheaper to engrave than halftone art. As one of Harper’s star artists, Frost was often sent out to cover articles on different parts of the country. Small towns and […]

Zany Trade Cards-Small ads of the late 1800s

One of the most popular forms of advertising for small businesses at the turn of the century were trade cards (small space ads).  They were about half the size of today’s postcard. And they were typically a pre-printed color image on the front.  The local businesses would print their own message on the blank reverse […]

A.B. Frost: The Sporting Art

Arthur Burdett Frost was one of America’s greatest artists. More than a famous magazine illustrator, who became best known for his sporting prints and paintings, he covered a wide range of subjects in his art. Frost’s depictions of the rural farmer, lowly shop-keepers and housewives, local politicians and black citizens of the old south were […]

Elegant pen work of Edwin Austin Abbey

Edwin Austin Abbey submitted pen and ink drawings to Harper & Brothers for two years before they bought one. That lead to 18 year-old Abbey joining Harper’s art department to work on Harper’s Weekly and Harper’s The Monthly Magazine. Abbey quickly established himself as a masterful pen and ink artist. He soon left Harper’s to […]

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