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

Jan Balet, Pioneer Stylist

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Throughout the 50's, while the public and the industry were still fully immersed in the idealized realism of the "Cooper look", one artist was forging a unique path of stylized illustration - and getting more than enough work from both advertising and editorial clients: Jan Balet. Part cartoonist, part whimsical storybook illustrator, part fine artist, Balet was the darling of many a magazine art director - especially of women's magazines. Only a handful of illustrators, people like Aurelius Battaglia, Jane Oliver and Thomas Vromann, were producing uniquely stylized work for the mainstream magazines of the 50's, and none of them had as much of a presence on the page as Jan Balet.
So its particularly maddening that there is barely a scrap of biographical information about the artist anywhere that I've searched. He was born in 1913, he did some childrens book illustration besides his advertising and editorial art. He went on to do fine art prints. Sadly, beyond that, Jan Balet remains a mystery.

More examples of the artist's work can be found in my Jan Balet Flickr set.

6 comments

  1. If you want to know something about Jan Balet, please let me know. I met him in the 1980's in Switzerland.

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  4. Just found the blog and really enjoy it. Great stuff.

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  5. Wow very nice blog. Its really useful for me. Thanks for posting this very beautiful article.

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  6. Good post, thanks for sharing.

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