Monday, March 19, 2012

Serendipity on a Sunny Spring Saturday

By some sort of harmonic convergence, mid-century art studios, fashion illustration, female illustrators, Canadian illustrators - even the Famous Artists Course - all came together for me over the weekend. Listen...

On Friday I told you about a Canadian illustrator, Jerry Lazare who was one of the first Canadian students of the Famous Artists School back in the late 1940s. Serendipitously, that same day (Friday) I acquired the 12th Annual of the Toronto Art Directors Club featuring the best in Canadian art and design from 1959.

The first thing that caught my eye was this striking full page ad for a Toronto art studio of that era, Sherman Laws & Partners.


The ad seems to be unsigned, but the style reminded me somewhat of a double page spread from Canadian Weekend magazine I had scanned a few years ago. This was done by an artist named Bruce Johnson in 1961.


Johnson, to the best of my knowledge, worked in Toronto, so he would have been in the right place at the right time doing a similar style. Could it be his work on the Sherman Laws ad?


Perhaps... but as I flipped through the Toronto AD Annual I kept seeing the work of a fashion illustrator named Eugenie Groh. Among the numerous pieces Groh has in this 1960 volume is the award winner for the "Fashion Illustration/Posters" category.


I don't know if Groh was the artist responsible for the Sherman Laws ad, but after seeing so many impressive examples of her work being showcased in the annual, I was curious to see if I could find out more about her ... and whattaya know... I did. A lot more.

So you're beginning to see what I mean at the top of this post about all the various topics of interest coming together for me on this one. But how does the Famous Artists Course fit into this picture?

I'll share that (and more example's of Eugenie Groh's work)... tomorrow.


  1. intriguing! I can't wait to hear the result! :)

  2. Hi, I believe Bruce Johnson worked out of Montreal...which would put him in possible contact with the Eatons people.

  3. Very interesting, thanks for sharing! Learned something new :)