Monday, April 20, 2009

Lynn Buckham (1918 - 1982)

Lynn Buckham's work was among the very first that caught my eye way back when I first started the Today's Inspiration mailing list (several years before I began the blog). The piece below was one of the earliest scans I ever made of a mid-century illustration. I was really taken with Buckham's combining of flat design elements and 50's idealized realism. Little did I know back then that Buckham was just one of a legion of illustrators staking a claim in territory pioneered by Al Parker.

Heck, I didn't even know who Al Parker was at the time, let alone that he had pioneered anything!

Over the years since then I've returned again and again to admire Lynn Buckham's work, always planning to spend a week showcasing the artist but never getting around to it. Part of the problem is that there's almost no information available on Buckham. (In fact, with a name like Lynn, for the longest time I wasn't even sure if the artist was a man or a woman. It turns out he was a man.)

Also holding me back was that I think of Buckham as a bit of a hit-and-miss Parker acolyte. Some of Buckham's work can be pretty pedestrian (like the typical clinch shot above) - but then he would give us a fresh, exciting eye-popper like the gorgeous piece below. Wow!

So what can I say? I'm a sucker for a good, designy 1950's Cooper Studio style, and Buckham certainly deserves to be recognized as having stood shoulder to shoulder with perennial favourites like Coby Whitmore, Joe DeMers and Joe Bowler.

So this week, even lacking any real knowledge of the artist or his career, let's take a look at the always professional, often inspired work of Lynn Buckham.

* My Lynn Buckham Flickr set.


  1. They sure knew how to handle gouache in those days - tricky at the best of times. This is going to be a good week.

  2. that last one is just amazing.

  3. on the first one pressure is really ON the steam boiler.

    The last one is a marvellous graphic venture. A cutout of Something from Nothing...the scissors fit very well. Those newspapers and the white paper covered with just a few lines of blanket and a negligee...

    The body and mass of the two figures. That's quite something!

  4. bought lifestyle illustration on the 60s (Fiell Publishing)
    there's a ton of his work there