Monday, July 10, 2006

How it began

"The Cooper Studio had its genesis in Clevland, Ohio; in the form of the Fawn Art Studio, started by Richard Schroeder and Norman Wagner. In 1934, Fawn opened a branch in New York City. Within a short time, the founders realized that they were simply not ready to compete... and made plans to shut down. One of their most talented illustrators, Jon Whitcomb, offered to buy out the partners. Joining Whitcomb in his offer... was Charles Cooper."

-You can read the entire article by author Neil Shapiro in the 16th issue of Illustration magazine.


  1. Bravo, Leif-- Cooper Studios wasn't just a business, it was a major sociological phenomenon that displayed as much about US culture post World War II as impressionism displays about 19th century France or the Sacred Spring displays about turn of the century Vienna. Neil Shapiro wrote a great article in Illustration Magazine and I'm glad to see you giving it this kind of play.

    As I said in a note to the editor of Illustration, I enjoyed the artwork in this article but even more I enjoyed the human touches-- the photo of the boyish Jon Whitcomb before he set the world on fire, and the poignant story of Charles Cooper's son trying to explain to his father that the old methods no longer worked.

    I'm looking forward to another fun week of TI!

  2. Thanks David - I know what you mean, a big part of what I enjoy about putting together Today's Inspiration is finding out about the lives of the artists - therein lies the real connection for me - discovering those aspects that show the person behind the art and how they are not so different from you or I... or in some cases, perhaps quite different!

  3. That red is so damn rich! I love it.

  4. My Great Grandfather is Norman Wagner. Co-Founder of Fawn Art Studios

    You should see the work I have around my house...

    pretty amazing stuff these men did.

  5. Thanks for commenting, loe - and I can well imagine! You're very lucky to have that wonderful inheritance from your Great Grandfather.

  6. Hey Loe,

    My father, Richard Schroeder, was Co-Founder of Fawn Art Studios with Norman Wagner, your great grand father. We lived near him in Cleveland. I seem to remember that he left Cleveland and moved to California to raise walnuts. I haven't read the whole article yet, but I think my father told me a somewhat different story than the article started out telling. I'd love to talk to you.

    Mark Schroeder