Search This Blog

Loading...

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

Ben Denison, In His Own Words: Part 3

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Ben Denison was a Chicago illustrator during the mid-20th century. For a time before his death, Ben and I corresponded about his career. In this 3rd excerpt from our email exchange, Ben recalls friends and acquaintances from his early days at Stevens,Gross Studios... ~ Leif

Earl Gross, a feisty dapper, super salesman & friend.

StephensGross03
(Above: photo of Earl Gross, co-owner Stevens Gross art studio, below, SG trade ad, 1953)
StephensGross02

My room mates at SG were Bob Addison and Bob Abbett, both marvelous talents.

StephensGross02.detail01

Abbett, I can't find him on the internet but last I heard he was doing wild life and western art and was doing very well.

(Below, illustration by Bob Abbett from Reader's Digest Condensed Books, 1964)
Abbett03

Addison, besides his commercial work, did gallery paintings of circus scenes and churches and later a series of silk screen print of country houses.

(Below, illustration by Bob Addison from Childcraft, The How & Why Library, 1964)
Addison03

They both had photographic memories, musically and artistically, and they were both entertaining and interesting. Wonderful guys. We were the trouble makers of the studio.

(Below, illustration by Ben Denison, date unknown)
Denison28

Among the other's were H. Charles McBarron, who did military illustration.

McBarron01

We all posed for each other. In top photo forgotten SG salesman and me dead or dying...

McBarron01.detail01

... McBarron directing the battle.

McBarron01.detail02

Bottom: same salesman and me over the parapets.

McBarron02
McBarron02.detail01

Babe Jacobson: Chicago school oil painter I can't find!

Johnny DeLoy: Quit art and became a mail man.

Joyce Ballantyne was there of course.

(Below: detail from the SG trade ad shown above, illustration by Joyce Ballantyne)
StephensGross02.detail02

... her husband, Eddie Augustiny was at Kling's.

(Below: Eddie Augustiny illustration, 1968)
Augustiny02

Kling studio was east on Ohio.

Kling11

Paul Wagener is the best artist I have ever known, but at Gross was in production and at Encyclopedia Brittanica an art director. Paul was a Captain of a Naval ship in the Pacific during WWII and is still living and drawing, sculpting and painting in Marietta Georgia. He just had his 90th birthday.

Austie White and the Sundblom studio was just around the corner.

Sundblom34


Al Buehl's apprentice, Frank Kalan, a wonderful NYC illustrator - did really sweaty bodice ripper book covers. Frank was a best friend and took photos at Jackie and my wedding.

(Below, a Frank Kalan book cover from 1965)
Frank Kalan

Gil Elvgren was nearby.

(Below: Gil Elvgren pin-up, c. 1940s?))
Elvgren01

Tom Hall, Hank and Marilyn Conover were dear friends. Artists whose names I can't remember in and out of Gross Studios.

(Below: Tom Hall illustration c. mid-1950s, bottom, Marilyn Conover book cover)
Hall01.JPG
Conover10

But most interesting was meeting Hugh Hefner and Art Paul, editor and art director of what was to become the Playboy magazine!

That comes on my next dispatch.

Next: Playboy and Stephens, Biondi, DiCicco

No comments:

Post a Comment

 

Followers

Recommended

HartfordMFA IlloMundo NCS

TI Around the Web

Archives