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

Winnie Fitch in the '60s

Thursday, February 06, 2014

The 1960s was a busy decade for Winnie Fitch. There was a move from Chicago to New York and then to Boston and assignments for advertising and promotions like the performance program booklet below.

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In the early '60s she began the first of many textbook assignments for publishers Allyn & Bacon/Boston, and D.C. Health/Boston.

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In the following years, Winnie produced covers and interior art for textbooks on ecology, music, reading, math and Spanish, with subject matter spanning from Grade 1 to college level.

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In the mid-to-late '60s Winnie illustrated children's books for Whitman Publishing, Golden Books and Dell.

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Eugenie Jenkins, a long-time friend and neighbour who was just 11 or 12 when her family moved in next door in 1963 recalled, "Even as a child, I knew Winnie possessed an extraordinary talent."

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"Winnie's bedroom upstairs had the most wonderful oils of [her children] Tracy, Marc and domestic scenes. She used her children as models."

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"She had had the attic turned into her studio where she did almost all her work. It was an amazing space -- modern and old all at the same time. A Shaker-like quality pervaded the whole house. It smelled of pine and age in a wonderful way. The floorboards were worn and creaky, the stairs suicidally steep. The whole house was a work of art, just the fruit in a bowl on the table could have been a MOMA installation."

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Eugenie continues, "Winnie would have commercial projects that kept the family fed and when deadlines would come up, the whole household was held captive. The strain could be felt even at our house."

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"I'm sure [Winnie's daughter] Tracy can tell you more about her commercial clients."

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"I just remember the fury that would overtake the house when the deadlines loomed."

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Tomorrow: More of Winnie's commercial work from the 1960s.

* Winnie Fitch and John Houston's website

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

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