Monday, September 04, 2006

Storybook Illustration

Every once in a while I like to remind readers that there's a fantastic collection of children's book illustration from the mid-twentieth century on Flickr called The Retro Kid. Due to an unfortunate computer glitch, RK founder Mighty Ward Jenkins had to relaunch The Retro Kid and ask all of us contributors to resubmit our scans. Not a problem, and the new RK pool already has over 1,500 images - but only about half its previous members.

This week, I thought I'd give the Retro Kid pool a boost by adding a few more scans from my ever-growing pile of yard sale finds and library discards, and by encouraging folks who read this blog to join the Retro Kid group!

As mentioned in previous posts, through an idiosyncrasy of Flickr's user policy, you must join Flickr (which costs nothing) to see all the otherwise invisible scans in the non-photo pools like Retro Kid and the group I co-administer, Mid-Century Illustrated.

While you're at it, why not join Ward's other new group, The Retro Teen? More groovy images and you'll be getting in on the ground floor of one of the coolest communities of online art lovers!

* Today's images are by illustrator Robert J. Lee (1921-1994) and should really be looked at full size to appreciate the detail and quality of Lee's technique. Click on the link in the last sentence to go to my set, where you'll also see a cool painting by Lee that I found at an online auction site.

1 comment:

  1. TI list member Neil Shapiro gave me permission to cc his email message to me here:


    I visited the Society of Illustrators once in, I believe, the early
    80's -- I was in advertising then, & was in NY on a TV shoot. As I was
    strolling around, basking in the atmosphere, an older gentleman -- very
    cool looking with white hair & a moustache -- struck up a conversation
    with me. I could've asked him a question about one of the pieces
    hanging in the gallery; I really don't remember. Turns out he was
    Robert J. Lee. Incredibly friendly & welcoming. He later sent me a few
    samples of his work. I had lost touch with him, & never knew what
    happened to him -- but it's not surprising to learn that he passed
    away. Anyway, that's my Robert J. Lee story.