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

Daniel Schwartz: "Fine Artist/Illustrator"

Monday, March 24, 2008

*TI list member Tom Watson has generously agreed to takes the reins this week. Tom will be telling us about Daniel Schwartz and is providing all the scans you'll be seeing. Many thanks, Tom, for all your hard work in preparing this topic - and for giving me a little vacation!

When I was an illustration major in art school, I began a routine of checking the major magazines of the day for inspiring illustrations. Both magazines and editorial illustration were becoming fewer and fewer, and the future of illustration was no longer clear for anyone.


In 1961, while thumbing through an issue of McCall magazine, I was stopped dead in my tracks at the golden tones and traditional style depicting two Victorian women shown above... one quietly sitting at a table writing a letter.


It reminded me of a Degas, a Sargent or a Bonnard painting, whose reproductions, I was introduced to, when I started my illustration training. “WOW!, who did this?”... I asked myself. On the adjacent page was a photo of a campaign button, that read “Woman’s Suffrage”. Above the title it read, Paintings by Daniel Schwartz. Normally it would simply say 'illustrated by', and the illustrator’s name. But, after quickly checking out the remaining 5 paintings, it occurred to me that they were more than just illustrations for a historical editorial story, they were all painted in a style that might be seen in our metropolitan galleries and museums across the country.


How appropriate, I thought, for an important true historical event, to be illustrated in a style that represented paintings reminiscent of the period.


I had never heard of Daniel Schwartz, but he became a much more familiar name from that point on. He actually did his first magazine illustration in 1958. As I would come to find out, while following his work, he had various styles that changed over the years . His illustrations were more of an easel painting or fine art painting approach, reminiscent of early 1900’s illustrators.


Actually, Schwartz started as a fine art painter, and in his biography it states, “Believing that illustration was an extension of his serious preoccupation's, he became a pioneer in the wider use of quality art by magazines. His own illustrations were cited for their high degree of human involvement and emotional impact”.

Tomorrow: we continue with Schwartz’s illustrations for “Woman’s Suffrage”, and take a look at his painting method, and why this series of paintings work so well as illustrations.

2 comments

  1. Daniel Schwartz has long been an artist whose work I have admired. I like the painterly illustrations & the unique watercolor or oil wash illustrations he has done.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tom:

    This is a great series you're doing. Daniel Schwartz (along with Burton Silverman & Harvey Dinnerstein) represent a real blurring of the line between fine art & illustration, & it's wonderful to see him singled out. Nice job!

    ReplyDelete

 

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