Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bernie Fuchs: "...like a bright meteor in a very dark sky..."

Another batch of early Bernie Fuchs advertising illustration scans from Charlie Allen, who writes:

"Fuchs was like a bright meteor in a very dark sky... a new, positive and unavoidable force in our illustration world. His best work was at the beginning... lasting five, maybe ten, years."

He continues, "these seem to fit his earlier more conservative side....and being ads helps. He was much farther out on his editorial stuff."

"Fuchs was pure genius....loose....but every figure, object, background, harmony, color and value....everything was carefully done to make the illustration work."

"All with energy, taste, beauty, and integrity! Talk about an inspiration..."

"... but for us older competitive types, very humbling!"

"Enough..... Chas."

Thanks, Charlie!

Be sure to drop by Charlie Allen's Blog to see some of Charlie's own inspiring (and humbling) artwork.

* My Bernie Fuchs Flickr set.


  1. Wow, integrity is right. And each one of these seem like they represent so much work, and at the same time they feel effortless. What a master! Thanks for sharing them.

  2. OK,it's official.Fuchs was The Man.To me, he has everything required of this type of illustrator. Is there a weakness here? I don't see it. If I'm an Art Director and I have Parker,Fawcett,Rockwell, Leyendecker and Fuchs waiting in reception, numbers 1 to 4 can get their hats,'cos Fuchs has got the gig.

  3. The first illustration with the bar,
    birdcage & couple on the beach look, very much like the Broyhill illustrations on TI last year Fuchs like art. They were unsigned but could they have been by Fuchs?
    I haven't seen any of these & have greatly enjoyed them.

  4. Charlie summed up beautifully what so many of us thought when looking at a Fuchs illo.. and I'm still in awe. The first Fuchs reproduction I saw was when I was still in art school and it was unsigned. It was a very ambitious car ad done in 1958 or 59. We thought it might be an Austin Briggs, but Fuchs wasn't quite there yet. By the the next year he caught on fire, and became the rage of the new breed of 60's illustration.

    Charlie's scans look pretty clean, but I probably have drool spots on my Fuchs samples. ;-)

    Thanks Leif and Charlie, for reminding us how great his work was, even way back then.

    Tom Watson

  5. Not alone is his work amazing, but he made the world he depicted so impossibly glamourous.
    No wonder he was in such demand.
    That last picture of the guy serenading the blonde with the flute is so incredibly kitschy and yet, wouldn't you love to have been there?

  6. Wow, those crazy halos around the candles and pink birds in the background are bizarre but they somehow work beautifully. Love the loose style and colors.

  7. It was about Charlie Allen played in various groups in Chicago in the 1940s and 1950s. Later in his life he became a music educator, worked in the Chicago Musicians' Union, and designed custom trumpet mouthpiece?? is he the same man??

  8. Not alone is his work amazing, but he made the world he depicted so impossibly glamourous.

  9. What a master! Thanks for sharing them.

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