Since writing about Lucia Lerner last month, a few new tidbits about the artist have percolated to the surface. First, this stunning piece from the September 1955 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.
Also, this great anecdote from Ken Krull, who was a salesman at the Chicago art studio, Stephens, Biondi, DiCicco, when Lucia worked there during the 50's:
Bringing up Lucia's name reminded me of our first job to together. I had just started in sales at SBD in the late 50's. An art director from FCB wanted to use Lucia on an ad featuring two women's heads. His budget was $200 (this was the 50's). I approached Lucia with the layout. Her question was "What will this bill for?" [When I told her the budget] she said, "That's really not very good - plus I'm very busy." Her way of turning down work.
Disappointed, I left, forgetting to take the layout. Next morning when I arrived the finished art of the heads was on my desk with a note... "Ken; Don't tell anyone what these billed for." "L"
We went on to do much work together...She was the Queen.
Ten years later, half a decade after Lucia had moved to SBD's L.A. office, she did the piece below for Petersen Publishing's Teen magazine.
Long-time TI list member, Armando Mendez, who was kind enough to send me the scan, added this bit of chronology to the Lucia story:
The month before [March 1965] had another very stylish Lucia DPS illustration with a dark-haired girl (who could be based on the same model) reading through old magazines but without the heavy containment line and flat blacks of this month; a very open, sketchy, continous line Briggs/Fawcett (lithographic crayon) type drawing. I don't have a complete run but I can tell you a year later and what little story illustration remains would be 180 degees different in approach.
Around that same time, writes Armando, "The large department stores ran incredible full page fashion drawings in the two main [L.A.] newspapers (even as a young boy, the drawings amazed me) but weren't signed. I certainly think Lucia had the chops for these."
That jibes well with something Will Nelson, another artist at SBD Chicago wrote to me about Lucia: "As I recall, Lucia was immediately in demand in the high end fashion market... I.Magnin, Bullocks, etc."
Perhaps someone out there will have saved some of those 1960's newspaper fashion ads and will read this post. With a little luck, we may yet get to see Lucia Lerner's work from that later part of her career.
* Today's images have been added to my Lucia Flickr set and the previous posts on Lucia Lerner can be quickly accessed from the drop down menu in the blog's side bar.