Monday, May 29, 2006

The Art of Reader's Digest

I've got a handful of Reader's Digest magazines from the late 40's and early 50's. This week we'll look at some of the artists who regularly did work for the magazine during that period. These pieces were signed Blattner, and since RD chose not to include credit lines for its illustrators, for now Blattner has no first name.


  1. It could easily be today's "New Yorker" cover: nice to see that some work stand the test of time!

  2. Some really strong draughtsmanship on display . One of my fave contributors to the 'Digest' was David Stone Martin. His stuff's always inspirational.

    Looking forward to the rest of the week.

  3. René - I agree! Even without a change of clothing styles, one could imagine this being done today by someone like Seth.

    Dom - I was not aware David Stone Martin did any work for Reader's Digest - now you've forced me to hunt down more back issues! ebay, here I come...

  4. Hi...
    The artist's full name is Robert Henry Blattner. b. 1906, d. 1996. He was the art director of Reader's Digest from 1945 to 1972, consulting art director 1977-78. He was a brilliant artist. His talent...surpassed only by his wit, humor, and kindness. He was a true gentleman, and, I'm proud to say, my grandfather.

    1. I am curious...where did you find these? I have a few of his original cover paintings, but none if the actual magazines. In fact, I don't recall seeing these before. Thank you for sharing them.

  5. A great many major names worked for the Digest, like John Falter, and Noel Sickles, especially after other magazines folded, or stopped using illustrations. Bob Blattner was a man of taste and discernment, and was effective at the Digest, especially given that the budget was very small. He loved to make terrible puns, and occasionally had strongly-felt opinions that made no sense. — Roger Reed