Its entirely likely that, in spite of living and working in Toronto, James Hill would have delivered these illustrations to his New York client in person.Remember, this is long before the days of quick commuter flights - or even FedEx!Hill often needed every last minute to complete his masterful artworks and rarely budgeted the extra time required to mail or otherwise ship his paintings to his many American clients. So, late in the evening, he'd race an hour and a half down the highway to Buffalo, then take the night train into Grand Central Station arriving in time for a morning cup of coffee at the art director's desk.What typically followed was a day in the city visiting his agent, friends and clients, lunch or dinner at the Society of Illustrators and a late night return to Toronto with new assignments.
This was Jimmy Hill's routine throughout the 60's, when he won 3 gold medals from the Society of Illustrators and the Artist of the Year Honour from the Society of American Artists. During that decade Hill was hugely influential on the look and style of illustration in America, to the point where Norman Rockwell told him, "As I represented the thirties and forties, you exemplify your own day and age."Nothing lasts forever and for a variety of reasons, by 1970, Hill no longer accepted American commissions. That's something we'll look at another time. For now, we're fortunate for the gift of Christmas illustrations Jimmy Hill gave us in 1964.
*You really need to enjoy these pieces at full size. They're in my James Hill Flickr set.