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

Winnie Fitch in the 1950s

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Last year I posted some 1950s advertising art by a female illustrator of the mid-20th century named Winnie Fitch.

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After doing some research online I was pleased to discover that Winnie Fitch has a website. I managed to get in touch with Winnie's family and a correspondence began.

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Not long thereafter, a large manila envelope arrived, bulging with black and white and colour copies of Winnie Fitch's work from all the different periods of her career.

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Also enclosed; some photos of Winnie and a letter detailing her career. Winnie's husband, musician and composer John Houston, kindly jotted down copious notes on the items he'd sent. For instance...

Here's a wonderful shot of Winnie and her friend Jo Alice during their art school days...

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Just a year after graduating, Winnie Fitch was already hard at work in the industry. Here is her cover for the 1950 Marshall Field Co. Christmas catalogue.

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From the Leo Burnett Company's Chicago office, where she freelanced, Winnie produced charming illustrations for many of America's best known and favourite brands.

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Her accounts included Rice Crispies, Mars Candy Bars, Dial Soap...

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... Dole Pineapples, Pillsbury Pancakes and many others...

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... all appearing in wide circulation national magazines like Life, Look and Seventeen. There were also corporate sponsored booklets and brochures. Below, a gorgeous little cover illustration for a 1958 Kimberly Clark Corporation booklet.

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Winnie's work was not restricted to advertising alone. She began getting assignments from book publishers early in her career. Here is the cover of the 1952 book, You and Your Amazing Mind, for Children's Press...

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... and the from the following year, for the University of Chicago Press.

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Winnie collaborated on both books with her then-husband, Joe Phelan. Many more book projects would follow.

Tomorrow: Winnie Fitch in the 1960s.

* Winnie Fitch and John Houston's website

* Winnie Fitch's art prints are available for purchase at imagekind.com

5 comments

  1. That Dial Soap ad really grabbed me when you first posted it. Glad there's more Winnie Fitch to come! Wonderful work. Looking forward to tomorrow's post. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous6:32 PM

    These are amazing...so much personality!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous4:27 PM

    LOVE THIS WINNIE FITCH!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous11:11 PM

    How did you first become aware of Winnie and her work from so long ago?
    Just curious.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous5:50 PM

    I know this lady personally, she's amazing!

    ReplyDelete

 

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