Remember this Good Housekeeping story illustration by Lynn Buckham from Monday's post?
Well here's a curiosity... an advertising illustration (below) that also appeared in Good Housekeeping - eight months later. Is it by Buckham? It seems likely... but another Cooper artist may have used some of Buckham's reference from the same photo shoot. I can almost imagine that the genesis for the ad concept was the client (Palmolive) taking Buckham's story illustration to its agency and saying, "This is exactly what we want our next ad to look like!"
During the 1950's advertisers often tried to mimic the look of romance story art in their ads for women's magazines. The ad agency would have gone directly to Cooper's and asked for Lynn Buckham. But looking at the two images displayed together we can see how inferior the ad piece is in almost every way.
Many hands are involved in the production of ad art - many meddling hands. I'm not even sure if Buckham did the artwork. No matter who it was, I know too much about the process of consensus by committee (and clients who want more, more, more) to blame the illustrator for the results.
Here's another ad - this time definitely by Buckham - that again under-utilizes the artist's input. I'm all in favour of making good use of white space -- giving the visual room to breathe -- but this is ridiculous. Again, what a shame to invest in employing the skills of a Cooper studio artist and have this as the results. What a waste of potential.
One client that made the most of its illustrators was Pepsi. Back in February of 2007 we spent a week looking at Pepsi's 'Sociables' campaign. Many Cooper artists worked on that decade-long series, including Lynn Buckham. This July '54 ad below is from relatively early in Buckham's career at Cooper's. I said at the beginning of the week that Buckham was sort of a 'hit-and-miss' kind of illustrator, and compared to some of his other work from the same time period, I'd call this piece a miss.
Since we don't know what circumstances Buckham had to deal with in getting this piece done, I'm not going to blame him too much. He may have had to crank this out over night, or the client may have asked for endless changes. It happens.
I want to end the week on a high note, and I couldn't do that better than to show you this new scan of the very first Buckham illustration I ever saw. It still knocks me out, and I think its one of the nicest pieces by Buckham I've ever seen. Amazingly, he produced this just a year after the one above and its most definitely a hit.
So what became of Lynn Buckham after this period in his career? TI list member David Roach managed to dig up a few clues:
"As magazine work dried up in the States," writes David, "Buckham moved to the U.K where he became one of the best and most prolific women's magazine artists and also found time to illustrate several books. In the mid 70’s he returned to the U.S where he found success as a portrait painter."
I'm hopeful that one day we will learn more about the talented Mr. Buckham. For now, that's all we know.
* My Lynn Buckham Flickr set.