How in the world could Phil Hays have been so entirely unknown to me until this past week? Because I have only this week heard his name and seen his work for the very first time.
But it turns out Philip Harrison Hays was very well know to a great many people (perhaps including you). Hays' illustrations from various 1956 issues of Cosmopolitan magazine are the only ones I've ever come across... but apparently he did quite a bit of work for magazines in the 50's.
Not only did Hays illustrations appear in such magazines as Cosmo, Esquire, Fortune and McCall's, but he did high profile advertising work for American Airlines, Coca-Cola and Columbia Records, among others.
Some aspects of Hays' style reminds me very much of Jack Potter's work, and this passage from Phil Hays' obituary in the NY TImes confirms my feelings:
"In the mid-1950's Mr. Hays was one of a young band of expressive and interpretative illustrators, including Robert Weaver, Jack Potter, Tom Allen and Robert Andrew Parker, who, rather than paint or draw literal scenes based entirely on an author's prose, interpreted texts with an eye toward expressive license."
Phil Hays won many prestigeous awards over the years and was the chairman of the illustration department of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California at the time of his death in 2005.
* Today's images can be seen at full size in my Phil Hays Flickr set.