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

Ward Brackett: The 1950s and Collier's magazine

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Here's a late 1940s ad illustrated by Ward Brackett.

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And here are a couple from around 1952. You can see a subtle change...

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... though still very rooted in a literal reality.

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But around the same time Brackett was steadily doing story assignments for Collier's magazine. Compare this work to his advertising art and it quickly becomes obvious that he was using the Collier's jobs as an opportunity to experiment a little with technique.

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This work is from 1951. Scroll down to look again at his story art in yesterday's post - work from 1948, '49 and - wow! - what a dramatic shift!

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Brackett, like most other magazine illustrators of the day, had clearly fallen under Al Parker's spell.

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I suspect that, unencumbered by the typical advertising client's desire for literal realism, Brackett used these story assignments to begin to stretch a little and explore his creative potential.

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Keep in mind that what you're looking at is from 1952 -- still very early on in a decade that was going to see tremendous change. If, like me, you're impressed by these first stylistic 'baby steps' Bracket was taking...

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... it'll make tomorrow's offerings seem all the more interesting!

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* My Ward Brackett Flickr set.

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