Thursday, June 21, 2007

"Realism" in Childcraft

There are probably just as many realistic illustrators as there are stylized artists in the Childcraft book series. The amazing thing is how many there are whom I've never (or just barely) heard of...

Richard Loehle, for instance. Obviously, a very talented artist... but this is the first time I've ever come acrosss his work. Loehle is listed as having worked for the Grant-Jacoby art studios.

Robert Addison (below) I've heard of - but I've only ever seen his signature on this one ad before.

John Henry, who worked for the Chicago art studio, Stephens, Biondi, DiCicco (you'll be hearing more from me about them soon)...

...and Art Magee -- another unknown but talented realist. There are more -- many more! Where did they all come from... and where did they go?

Only time - and more research - will tell.


  1. jeff Norwell11:20 AM

    I always want to read the rest of the story that goes with the illo!
    great stuff L.P!

  2. I loved the realistic illustrations as a kid--never liked the "modern" ones, as we called them. I wish I had the set now though. Thanks for doing this. Judy

  3. Thanks Jeff and Judy! :-)

    Judy; you're comment confirms my suspicion that illustrators and art directors were taking some risks with their use of those "modern" styles, as you put it.

    Today we take stylization for granted - we even think of many of these styles as "old fashioned' or "retro' - but we have to remember that they were a bold step forward at a time when realism was the norm. And the public sometimes expressed their outrage at the way artists were interpretting things in a "modern" way.

    Case in point: this letter to the editor regarding a Thomas Vroman illustration in Collier's magazine.

  4. I hadn't thought about the risk factor, but I'm sure you're right. I remember the "modern" illustrations appearing in textbooks too- I didn't appreciate the design elements as a kid. (I'm 66 now) Judy

  5. Hah! Richard Loehle is my grandfather. :-) He is extremely talented, and I'm not saying this just because I am his granddaughter. His wife Betty is also an amazing artist. Just thought I'd drop a note.

  6. Richard Loehle his wife Betty and his son Allen are very gifted artist.As well as his late brother Donald and his sister who happens to be my grandmother Peggy Rafter.But Richard stands out as one of the great artist in his generation, and his work will be recognized more and more as time goes on. Thank you for the Great article C.C.Rafter