Archive for September, 2013

HARRY BECKHOFF – One of my favotite artists

September 30, 2013

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Harry Beckoff was born 1901 in Perth Amboy, New jersey.

He studied at the Artist Students League under George Bridgeman (who taught Norman Rockwell along with a host of of other well known painters and illustrators, such as Harvey Dunn, Dean Cornwell and others). Fellow students with Beckhoff at the ASL were Mead Schaeffer, Saul Tepper and Dan Content, artist all who became well known and respected during the Golden Age of magazine illustrations.

Harry Beckhoff was very much influenced by French artists, Charles Martin, Andre Marty and Pierre Brissaud whose work could often be seen in Vougue, Home and Garden and Harper’s Bzaar. In 1929 Beckhoff’s very first magazine illustration was published in Country Gentleman.

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Bechoff was noted for doing his preliminary sketches the size of a thumb-nail. Literally, the size of a thumb-nail .He would later use a Pantograph and enlarge the sketch to five or six times the size. Using the graphite lines laid down by the pantograph as a guide he would then draw the lines in ink. His fellow illustrators marveled at how he managed to sketch such a small drawing and still be so well rendered with much of the details in it. One of his friends and fellow artist who never seized to be amazed by Beckhoff’s method was James Montgomery Flagg.

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For over half a century Harry Beckhoff would illustrates hundreds of periodicals and dozens of advertisements but he is mostly remembered for illustrating those loveable, wonderful Broadway characters by the famous writer Damon Runyon in Collier’s.

Harry Beckhoff ddied in 1979.

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HERBERT PAUS – My favorite artist.

September 23, 2013


Herbert Paus was born in 1890 in Minneapolis. By the age of seven he was already showing artistic interest and ability. With the encouragement of his parents, his mother sent him for half a day every Saturday to study with a local (St. Paul Minnesota) artist, Burt Harwood who known to have studied in Europe.

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When he was sixteen, Paus got a job at The St. Paul Pioneer Press newspaper as a cartoonist and when the editorial cartoonist left the paper Paus took over as staff cartoonist. Two years later, in 1899, the nineteen year old Paus moved to New Yorj and took some classes at the Chase Art School of Art with legendary instructors; Robert Henri, George Bridgeman and F.V. DuMond.

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By 1903, Paus decided to do freelance work and some of his clients were, Ladies’ Home Journal, Life, Delineator, National Review, St. Nicholas and others. Aside from illustrating for the magazines he also did a number of advertisements for, Victor Records, Hart,  Schaffner, Marx, Goodyear as well as illustrating children’s books such as, “Tyltyl”, “The Children’s Blue Bird” by Madame Maurice Macterlinck.

When the United   States entered the First World War, Paus was one of the first artist to be chosen to do heroic and inspirational posters urging Americans to join up for service overseas.

During the war years Paus illustrated many covers for Collier’s magazine which at the time had a circulation of over a million a week. By the end of World War One he was already at the top of successful American illustrators. He was so popular that he had the luxury of choosing assignments that suited him. From 1927 to 1931 he had an exclusive contract to do all of the covers for “Popular Science”.

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It was noted that Herbert Paus was at his most effective depicting subjects larger than life.

Herbert Paus in 1946

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DEAN CORNWELL = My favorite artist.

September 15, 2013

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Dean Cornwell, who was also known as “Dean of Illustration”, was born on March 5, 1892, in Louisville, Kentucky.

His parents were Margaret Wickliffe Dean and Charles C. Cornwell. His career as an illustrator began in 1914 and for over three decades he did thousands of illustrations for countless of magazines. While a student at the Art Students’ League he met one of his idols, Harvey Dunn (see previous blog). Harvey Dunn  soon realized that Dean showed a lot of promise in becoming an artist. He tookDean under his wing and changed the course of Dean’s life and career.

James Montgomery Flagg also a well known illustrator and Dean’s friend once joked that, “Dean was Dunn before he started”.

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Although Dean Cornwell was a household name most of his life he was not quite comfortable being simply an illustrator  for magazines. He felt illustrations were never really taken seriously as an art form. He once confided to a friend that he felt the illustrator would only be at the top for about three years before he gradually descends into obscurity. Dean aspired to be a muralist . Murals, he felt, will long be remembered long after the artist is gone.

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When Dean Cornwell was commissioned to paint a series of murals on early California history for the central rotunda of the Los Angeles Public Library he packed his paints and easels and sailed to England to study with the great muralist, Frank Brangwynn.

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 Norman Rockwell, a good friend of Dean Cornwell, got over his head when he accepted to do a mural for The Welkshire Life Insurance Company in Springfield, Massachusetts had to call on his friend to help him out. Shortly before it was finished Dean passed away.

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Dean Cornwell died in May, 1960. He was 68 years of age.


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HARVEY DUNN = My favotite artist.

September 9, 2013

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Harvey Dunn was born on a homestead in Kingsbury County, South Dakota Territory on March 8, 1884.

For over sixteen years Harvey Dunn lived with his parents, Tom and Bersha Dun and with his sister Caroline, brother Roy were they had settled in on 160 underdeveloped acres south of the rail line between Manchester and De Smet along the Redstone creek.

The children were enrolled in the one room rural School of Esmond Township where Harvey started showing his artistic talent. He endlessly sketched on the school’s blackboard. It was noted the teacher had to hide her chalk box from him to conserve her supply.

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As  a young man, Harvey studied at the Chicago Art institute from 1902 to 1904. It was here where Harvey Dunn met Howard Pyle, widely recognized  as America’s foremost illustrator, came to the institute to deliver a lecture . Howard Pyle was  impressed with Dunn’s drawings that he invited him to attend classes held by Howard Pyle in his studio  in  Wilmington, Delaware.

Like his teacher, Dunn became more of an illustrator and was very much in demand  illustrating for popular periodicals as  Scribners, Collier’s Weekly, Century, Outing and others.

In his late years Harvey Dunn sought to pass on Pyle’s philosophy and became a teacher in his own right. One of his most successful students was  Dean Cornwell (who will be the next featured artist ).

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Harvey Dunn died on October29, 1952 at the age of 66.The prairie farm boy who became one of the world’s foremost artist/ illustrator.

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A chuckle for a dime.

September 1, 2013

Okay, I know I have been somewhat remiss in posting on my blog lately.


Well, maybe I …


Alright, I’ve been lazy, okay? But no more. From now on I’ll have something new every week (more or less). So stay tuned.

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During the heydays of magazines of the forties and fifties you could buy a magazine for a dime to a quarter and get to read some of the most famous writers of the time; the likes of Hemingway, Bradbury, O’Hara, Maugham, St. John and many more. Stories were illustrated by the best illustrators during that era; Fawcett, Dorne, Parker, Whitcomb, Raleigh, La Gatta and many more. There would be tips on how to decorate your home, recipes for the best meat loaf and pictures from all over the world.

But if none of these pleased you then there would always be a dozen or so cartoons in each magazine to get a chuckle out from that dime you spent and for a few moments the problems of the day weren’t so bad after all.

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Think something funny everyday.