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Celebrating Illustration, Design, Cartoon and Comic Art of the Mid-20th Century

Taking a Circuitous Route

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


I like both these pieces for very different reasons. I find them to be really kind of odd, because they don't fit neatly into the impression I have of the time period from which they came.



The Santa delivering Reader's Digest by helicopter has a 50's kitchyness about it but was actually produced in the 40's, while the winter scene is reminiscent of the delicate and quiet charm I've often come across in work from the 30's, yet it harkens from the age of tail fins and atomic power. Who knows what was on the minds of the editors of Reader's Digest?

An illustrator who did a lot of work for Reader's Digest was Denver Gillen. I haven't shown the group any of his work for that magazine, but I have previously presented his work for others, especially his Saturday Evening Post pieces. I'd have loved to have used this Gillen piece in the Countdown to Christmas, but unfortunately I used it earlier.



While surfing around the Vintage Childrens Books pool at Flickr I came across these images by Gillen from the 1930's, and that got me thinking of him, and that motivated me to upload my Gillen scans to my Flickr account, and that's when I realized I actually had a Gillen Christmas image but had already used it.

And remembering he had done a lot of work for Reader's Digest I decided to see if I could find any other Gillen Christmas images, and that's how I found these two images instead, and that's the whole long circuitous route I took to bring them to you today. *whew* !

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