Monday, May 12, 2008

Barbara Bradley on Gilbert Bundy

About a year ago, Barbara Bradley and I were corresponding about a 'Sanfordized' ad I had posted.

Barbara wrote, "...the 'Sanforized' ad surprised me because it certainly doesn't look like a Gilbert Bundy, who did the Sanforized I remember. Bundy's were particularly fresh, wonderful, and filled with long-legged beauties, all of whom had delightfully protruding upper teeth, rather like Gene Tierney's."

Barbara's remarks got me digging out all the Bundys I could find, in anticipation of doing a week on the artist some time. Gilbert Bundy is already well represented on the America Art Archives website, Paul Giambarba's 100 Years of Illustration, and at the Society of Illustrators, so I won't bother to write too much on his career this week. Those who are curious to learn more about him can go check out those pages.

Instead I will share with you these additional remarks from Barbara:

"Bundy's 'Sanforized' ads made such the impression on me. I loved his loose authoritative way with water color."

"Incidentally, has anyone commented on the change in the American ideal figure in the last fifty years? It's obvious in these full length female figures. Andrew Loomis's proportions still seem ideal to me. The women we illustrated then had miniscule waists. Today's ideal female shape is much larger in the waist and smaller in the hips, with shapes more vertical in the mid section than hour glass. Another thing that's changed is the foot size. Tiny feet were greatly admired and drawn. Lips were almost always red, even lips on children."

I wish I had decided to post about Bundy sooner... it would have been great to have Barbara comment further on his work and the changing ideal of the female figure.

For those who have not heard, there will be a memorial service for Barbara's extended family, former students, colleagues and many friends:

Memorial Service for Barbara Bradley
2151 Van Ness Avenue at Broadway
Former St. Brigid's Church
San Francisco, California
Thursday, June 5, 2008
7 o'clock pm

A scholarship has been set up by the Academy of Art University and donations may be made to the Barbara Bradley Scholarship Fund. Contributions made will be matched by the Academy of Art University. If you wish to donate, please make your check payable to Academy of Art Foundation.

Mail to:
Barbara Bradley Scholarship Fund

c/o Academy of Art University
79 New Montgomery
San Francisco, California 94105

As well, a blog was set up last year by friends of Barbara to commemorate her receipt of the 2007 Distinguished Educator Award from the Society of Illustrators in New York. The blog, has organically become something of a gathering place for remembrances, farewells, and notes to her children, Lauchlin, Glennis and Andy.

Finally, after much deliberation I have decided to unlock the 'All Sizes' tab on my Flickr archives. You can once again access the full size versions of these scans in my Gilbert Bundy Flickr set.


  1. Thank you for unlocking the original size scans again. Only when they were gone did I realize how much I used them!

  2. After reading Barbara's description of the ideal female in the 50's, I have concluded that the ideal female today is apparently thicker in the waist, smaller around the hips, fewer red lips, bigger legs and bigger feet. Yikes!... I wonder why the change?

    Both Barbara's and Gil Bundy's women look very appealing to me.

    Tom Watson ;-)