Friday, June 17, 2011

Six Degrees of Illustration Separation

The Dodge Truck ads from the last post certainly were a hit with TI readers. Thanks to several commenters, we now know that Charles Wysocki was the artist responsible for the beautiful illustrations in that series.


Harry Borgman very kindly sent the ad below from the 1956 Detroit Art Directors Annual, illustrated by Wysocki, for McNamara Brothers, the art studio where Harry and Chuck Wysocki once worked.


Yesterday, while flipping through the 1959 issue of the Saturday Evening Post where I found the Wysocki Dodge Truck ad at the top of this post, I had a "six degrees of illustration separation" moment.

Beside Chuck Wysoki's ad, there were several other illustrated car ads in that issue. The one below was, unfortunately, not signed.


But here's one by Ben Jaroslaw, who was Bernie Fuchs' illustrative partner when they both worked at The Art Group, a rival studio to McNamara Brothers. No doubt Harry Borgman, Chuck Wysocki, Ben Jaroslaw, Bernie Fuchs and many of the artists at both studios all socialized together - or at least knew of each other as close professional acquaintances.


No doubt all of those artists marvelled at the work of Art Fitzpatrick and Van Kaufman - also known as "AF/VK" - who were then turning out a spectacular series of Pontiac ads at a furious pace. The AF/VK ad below appeared in that same October 1959 issue of the SEP as the other auto ads above.


But as far as I know, Art Fitzpatrick and Van Kaufman weren't part of the Detroit automotive art scene. AF/VK were, I believe, New York-based illustrators represented earlier that decade by Seymour Thompson Associates. Thompson had represented several other successful illustrators - including one whose work also appeared in that very same issue of the Saturday Evening Post...


... James R. Bingham.

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