illustrators

The Prisoner, by Jack kirby

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Austin Osman Spare: tarots

Lost Envoy – Artist Austin Spare’s long-lost tarot deck comes to light in beautiful book edition
Lost Envoy: The Tarot Deck of Austin Osman Spare
by Jonathan Allen (editor)
Strange Attractor Press
2016, 336 pages, 6.5 x 9.5 x 1.25 inches
$39 (plus...

Lost Envoy – Artist Austin Spare’s long-lost tarot deck comes to light in beautiful book edition
Lost Envoy: The Tarot Deck of Austin Osman Spare
by Jonathan Allen (editor)
Strange Attractor Press
2016, 336 pages, 6.5 x 9.5 x 1.25 inches
$39 (plus...

Lost Envoy – Artist Austin Spare’s long-lost tarot deck comes to light in beautiful book edition
Lost Envoy: The Tarot Deck of Austin Osman Spare
by Jonathan Allen (editor)
Strange Attractor Press
2016, 336 pages, 6.5 x 9.5 x 1.25 inches
$39 (plus...

How Posters Work, NY Museum May 7

A History of Graphic Design As Told By 18 Classic Posters

125 posters from the Cooper Hewitt’s permanent collection are featured in How Posters Work, which opens at the New York museum on May 7. “A true visual feast,” says director Caroline Baumann, from the “hard-edged designs of Ladislav Sutnar to the ever popular psychedelic posters of the 1960s, which epitomize sensory overload.”

The exhibition also divides the posters into 14 sections like “overwhelm the eye” or “assault the surface” which also manage to serve as a kind of crash course in graphic design. Looking at the posters through this lens helps to understand the choices that the designers made—and what makes them so perennially powerful. [Cooper Hewitt]


A History of Graphic Design As Told By 18 Classic Posters

Frederick Siebel (American, Austrian, and Czech, 1913–1991). Someone Talked, 1942. Lithograph. Printed by Devoe & Raynolds Painting Company (USA). 101.6 × 71.1 cm (40 × 28 in.). Gift of Louise Clémencon, 1949-108-10. Photo by Matt Flynn.


A History of Graphic Design As Told By 18 Classic Posters

Hendricus Theodorus Wijdeveld (Dutch, 1885–1987). Internationale Economisch-Historische Tentoonstelling [Exhibition of International Economic History], 1929. Block print, letterpress. 64.6 × 50.4 cm (25 3/8 × 19 3/4 in.). Museum purchase through gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt and Jacob H. Schiff, and through bequest of Mrs. John Innes Kane, 2001-7-1.


A History of Graphic Design As Told By 18 Classic Posters

Michael Bierut (American, b. 1957) for Architectural League of New York (New York, New York, USA). LIGHT/YEARS, 1999. Offset lithograph. 59.7 x 97.8 cm (23 1/2 x 38 1/2 in.). Gift of Michael Bierut, 2007-12-2. Photo by Matt Flynn.


A History of Graphic Design As Told By 18 Classic Posters

Experimental Jetset (Amsterdam, Netherlands): Erwin Brinkers (Dutch, b. 1973), Marieke Stolk (Dutch, b. 1967), and Danny van den Dungen (Dutch, b. 1971) for Paradiso (Amsterdam, Netherlands). Paradiso 2010, 2010. Diecut, offset lithographs. 59.4 × 42 cm (23 3/8 × 16 9/16 in.). Gift of Experimental Jetset, 2014-40-3, -5/-7. Photo by Matt Flynn.


A History of Graphic Design As Told By 18 Classic Posters

Paula Scher (American, b. 1948) for the Public Theater (New York, New York, USA). Him, 1994. 116.8 x 76.2 cm (46 x 30 in.). Gift of Paula Scher, 2013-25-1. Photo by Matt Flynn.


A History of Graphic Design As Told By 18 Classic Posters

Rianne Petter (Dutch, b. 1975) and René Put (Dutch, b. 1962). Poster No. 524: Focal Point, 2012. Cut paper. 1189 x 841 mm (46.5 x 33 in). Courtesy of the designers.


A History of Graphic Design As Told By 18 Classic Posters

Wiktor Górka (Polish, 1922–2004). Kabaret [Cabaret], 1973. Offset lithograph. 83.7 x 58 cm (32 15/16 x 22 13/16 in.). Gift of Sara and Marc Benda, 2010-21-100. Photo by Matt Flynn.


A History of Graphic Design As Told By 18 Classic Posters

Saul Bass (American, 1920–1996). Exodus, 1961. Offset lithograph. Printed by National Screen Service Corporation (USA). 104 x 68.5 cm (40 15/16 x 26 15/16 in.). Gift of Sara and Marc Benda, 2010-21-16. Photo by Matt Flynn.


A History of Graphic Design As Told By 18 Classic Posters

Lucian Bernhard (German, 1883–1972) for Adler (Germany). Adler Typewriter, 1909–10. Lithograph. Printed by Hollerbaum & Schmidt (Berlin, Germany). 34.5 x 47 cm (13 9/16 x 18 1/2 in.). Gift of the Eric Kellenberger Collection, Switzerland, and museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment, 2005-12-2. Photo by Matt Flynn.


A History of Graphic Design As Told By 18 Classic Posters

Victor Moscoso (Spanish and American, b. 1936). Junior Wells, 1966. Offset lithograph. 50.3 x 36 cm (19 13/16 x 14 3/16 in.). Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Leslie J. Schreyer, 1979-34-37. Photo by Matt Flynn.


A History of Graphic Design As Told By 18 Classic Posters

Ladislav Sutnar (American and Czech, 1897–1976) for A. B. Addo (Malmö, Sweden). Addo-x, 1958. Offset lithograph. 96.8 x 61.3 cm (38 1/8 x 24 1/8 in.). Gift of Anonymous Donor, 1994-109-7. Photo by Matt Flynn.


A History of Graphic Design As Told By 18 Classic Posters

Waldemar Swierzy (Polish, 1931–2013). Nocny Kowboj [Midnight Cowboy], 1973. Offset lithograph. 82.3 x 58.5 cm (32 3/8 x 23 1/16 in.). Gift of Sara and Marc Benda, 2010-21-103. Photo by Matt Flynn.


A History of Graphic Design As Told By 18 Classic Posters

Art Chantry (American, b. 1954). Ready for War, 1982. Screenprint. 60.9 × 45.5 cm (24 × 17 15/16 in.). Gift of Steven Heller and Karrie Jacobs, 1993-53-27. Photo by Matt Flynn.


A History of Graphic Design As Told By 18 Classic Posters

Mark Gowing (Australian, b. 1970) for Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation (Paddington, Australia). Jonathan Jones: untitled (the tyranny of distance), 2008. Screenprint. 84 × 51.6 cm (33 1/16 × 20 5/16 in.). Collection Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, Gift of Mark Gowing, 2014-32-2. Photo: Matt Flynn


A History of Graphic Design As Told By 18 Classic Posters

Felix Pfäffli (Swiss, b. 1986) for Weltformat Poster Festival (Lucerne, Switzerland). Weltformat 13, 2013. Lithograph. 128 × 89.5 cm (50 3/8 × 35 1/4 in.). Gift of Felix Pfäffli, 2014-30-2. Photo by Matt Flynn.


A History of Graphic Design As Told By 18 Classic Posters

Experimental Jetset (Amsterdam, Netherlands): Erwin Brinkers (Dutch, b. 1973), Marieke Stolk (Dutch, b. 1967), and Danny van den Dungen (Dutch, b. 1971); For NAiM / Bureau Europa (Maastricht, Netherlands); Out of Fashion, 2011; Screenprint; Collection Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, Gift of Experimental Jetset, 2014-40-4. Photo: Matt Flynn


A History of Graphic Design As Told By 18 Classic Posters

Jacques Delisle (Canadian, b. 1941) for Cinépix Film Properties, Inc. (CFP) (Montreal, Canada). L’Initiation, 1970. Offset lithograph. 101.6 x 68.6 cm (40 x 27 in.). Gift of Sara and Marc Benda, 2010-21-97. Photo by Matt Flynn.

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

by Alissa Walker

17 Works of Art That Will Hang In George Lucas's New Museum

There was a great disturbance in the Force this week as George Lucas announced he’s locating his new art museum in Chicago instead of San Francisco. But Lucas’s art isn’t all Millennium Falcon models: There are some seriously fascinating pieces in his collection, all themed around the concept of storytelling.

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will focus on the power of a single image to tell a story, inspire emotion, or encapsulate universal truths. “What distinguishes narrative art from other genres is its ability to capture a shared experience across diverse cultures preserving it for future generations,” according to the museum’s website. The idea is to illustrate the evolution of this optimistic, accessible narrative imagery into cinema, animation, and beyond. But don’t worry, nerds, there will also be a few Star Wars concept drawings in the mix, like the one of Cloud City, above.

Lucas’s collection is massive, according to PR director David Perry: “If we only used his art, we could rotate an exhibit every six months for nine years and never repeat a piece of art. The collection is worth anything from $600 million to priceless.” It’s also incredibly diverse. Here’s a look at some of the more unique pieces that Lucas is bringing with him to Chicago, which are like taking a peek inside his creative process.

Norman Rockwell, Happy Birthday Mrs. Jones, c. 1956

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George Lucas is a longtime collector of the work of American illustrator and painter Norman Rockwell, who was best known for his covers of The Saturday Evening Post, which he illustrated for over 40 years. These glimpses of Americana manage to tell an entire story in a single image, and perfectly illustrate Lucas’s focus on “narrative art”—in fact, Lucas has said that his filmmaking roots began when he tried to write stories prompted by the Saturday Evening Post covers at his home. Norman Rockwell was such an inspiration that Lucas added him as a character in an episode of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.

Norman Rockwell, Shadow Artist, 1920

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Lucas’s friend and collaborator Steven Spielberg is also known for collecting Rockwell’s paintings, and the two of them loaned many pieces from their collections for a Smithsonian show in 2010. Rockwell has obviously influenced their work, as Lucas told CBS News: “You know, so many artists have a tendency to paint without emotion, without any connection to the audience. And both Steve and I are diehard emotionalists. We love to connect with the audience. Rockwell loved to connect with the audience.” One could argue that a film like American Graffiti was a contemporary version of Rockwell’s slice-of-life Americana. This painting usually hangs in Lucas’s office.

N.C. Wyeth, The Pioneer & the Vision, c. 1918

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Another largely commercial artist, Wyeth became famous for his illustrations of novels and short stories for Scribner’s, including many works of classic literature, and his versions of books like Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe were standards in homes for several generations. He also traveled throughout the country and was one of the important artists who helped communicate ideas about the largely unknown American West to a captive audience back home.

Maxfield Parrish, Ecstasy, c. 1929

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The ethereal work of painter and illustrator Maxfield Parrish employed bright colors and romanticized subjects, including an ongoing series of androgynous figures posed on rocky landscapes. Apparently Lucas owns an exceptionally large collection of movie posters, and you can see how his love for dramatic illustration like this influenced the way that his own films were marketed.

Howard Chandler Christy, Rob Roy, c. 1910

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Christy was popular illustrator and painter known for recreating famous scenes in American history (like the signing of the Constitution) as well as advertising for the U.S. Army and other patriotic organizations. His “Christy girl” appeared in many recruitment posters for the armed forces. I don’t know about you, but I get some serious Han Solo/Princess Leia vibes from this one.

Joseph Christian Leyendecker, Air Force Pilot, c. 1917

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Also a cover artist for The Saturday Evening Post, Leyendecker was responsible for visualizing many of the enduring characters of popular culture: He was the first to illustrate Santa Claus as a jolly fat man in a red suit, for example, which has become the iconic representation in history. I see the Indiana Jones-era being evoked here, all the way.

John Tenniel, Alice with the White Rabbit for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, c. 1864

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Another area of Lucas’s focus are illustrations for children’s books. Tenniel was a British illustrator who was well known for his political and humor cartoons when he was tapped to bring Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass to life. Bringing his wit and sometimes rather adult humor to the stories worked to the books’ favor, as they were able to appeal to a wide range of audiences, young and old. The same could be said for Lucas’s films.

Jessie Wilcox Smith, Little Red Riding Hood, 1911

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Another illustrator of children’s stories, Jessie Wilcox Smith was an anomaly during the Golden Age of illustration because she was a woman—one of the only female artists to gain prominent financial and critical success. In addition to many advertisements and posters, she illustrated many pieces of classic literature, like Little Women and Heidi.

Arthur Rackham, Badger’s Winter Stories, c. 1920

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Another British illustrator from the same era, Rackham illustrated dozens of fairy tale books which would go on to become best-sellers around the world. Rackham was also known for employing early photographic techniques in his illustration work which gave them a photo-realistic look. You can definitely see Lucas’s fairy-tale genre—Labyrinth, Willow—evoked in many of those storybook images.

Norman Theodore Mingo, MAD: Cover #77, Alfred & Arrow, March 1963

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A fan of comics and graphic novels, Lucas collects popular art of all kinds, including the satirical work created for MAD magazine during its heyday. Although he had a long career in advertising and editorial illustration, Mingo was best known for being tapped by MAD publisher William M. Gaines and editor Al Feldstein to create the character known as Alfred E. Neuman.

Alberto Vargas, Kim Novak in Broad Brimmed Hat Resting Chin on Hand, c. 1950

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The Peruvian-born painter Vargas was renowned for his style of illustrating “pin-up girls” which became popular around the world. His illustration like this one of actress Kim Novak were highly idealized and mostly nude versions of women which became popular for being “pinned-up” on servicemen’s walls during World War I and II. Vargas also illustrated many film posters which were known for their gauzy airbrushed quality.

Carl Barks, Money Bin Memories, c. 1972

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It’s no surprise that Lucas is a fan of traditional animation, owning several works from the Walt Disney Company (which would later acquire Lucasfilm, funnily enough). Barks worked as a cartoonist and animator at the Disney studios, and was best known for his cartoons and comics featuring Donald Duck and his extended family. Perhaps this acquisition led to the creation of Howard the Duck?

ILM Team, Rango, © 2011 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved

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Visual Effects Supervisors: Tim Alexander, John Knoll Animation Director: Hal Hickel; Art Directors: John Bell, Aaron McBride;

Also included in the collection are works from the new era of digital animation, where the new breed of animation companies use completely different techniques to make characters live and breathe. Lucas has had a hand in nearly every aspect of the new animation movement: Pixar was first founded as a division of Lucasfilm and now ILM is moving into the animated film space, with Rango as its first full-length feature.

Attributed to Harry Lange, Construction drawings for Millennium Falcon cockpit, A New Hope™ & © 1977 Lucasfilm Ltd; ILM model shop, Lucasfilm Ltd.,Millennium Falcon scale model, A New Hope™ & © 1977 Lucasfilm Ltd.

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Among the Star Wars memorabilia included in the collection are gems like this: The original plans and model for the Millennium Falcon. Expect to see plenty of behind-the-scenes imagery and photographs from the production of the films, as well.

London Production Crew, Luke’s full-size land speeder, A New Hope™ & © 1977 Lucasfilm Ltd.

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In addition to many of the vehicles—like this FULL SIZE speeder model!—Lucas also has plenty of other amazing Star Wars goods, like the original Darth Vader costume and a full-sized Yoda model.

ILM Team, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, © 2003 Intermedia Film Distribution Ltd.

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Visual Effects Supervisor: Pablo Helman; Animation Supervisor: Dan Taylor; Art Director: Peter Mitchell Rubin

Lucas’s Industrial Light & Magic helped usher films into the digital age, creating a new way for filmmakers to create their universes, like the groundbreaking visual effects for films likeTerminator 3. In a way, Lucas’s own technological advances have brought the idea of the “narrative arts” full circle—allowing the single image that tells a story to morph into a moving image that brings the story to life.

Te Hu, Moon Palace, 2012

17 Works of Art That Will Hang In George Lucas's New Museum

Lucas continues to collect the work of contemporary artists and designers including digital artists like Hu and fashion designers like Rodarte (who have said their work is inspired by Star Wars films). Who knows, this fantastical scene created as a digital painting by Hu may be the inspiration for a future world created by Lucas somewhere far, far away.

Top image: Cloud City, Ralph McQuarrie & Michael Pangrazio, The Empire Strikes Back TM & © 1980 Lucasfilm Ltd.

animals & c.

illus. from an 1850s “Materia Medica” book
via Dassaishooku

 

Japanese badger from an 1850s “Materia Medica” book
via Dassaishooku

Gaston de Latenay, 1899, Nausikaa illustration
via Book Graphics

Gaston de Latenay, 1899, Nausikaa illustration
via Book Graphics

illus. by Hiromi Nishizaka via mlle ghoul

Tom Seidmann-Freud, Das Wunderhaus, 1927
via via UB Braunschweig

Previous post on Tom Seidmann-Freud: The Rabbit Dreams of Dr. Freud’s Niece

Tom Seidmann-Freud, Das Wunderhaus, 1927
via via UB Braunschweig
The book has lots of moving parts.

Dodo, from ‘Atlas de Zoologie’ 1844 by Paul Gervais
see the full post on BibliOdyssey

cover illus. by Carlos Gonzalez, 1924, Mexico

Mexican work safety poster, 1938
via Swann Auctions
50 Watts is concerned for your safety

Futuro cover, 1942, Josep Renau

from El perro, el ratón y el gato, 1930 Spain
via Memoria de Madrid
More to come from this publication, some day

“Der Rote” by frequent 50 Watts cover star Richard Teschner
via the Theater Museum

Edmund Dulac, illus. for La Toison d’Or et quelques autres Contes de la Grèce ancienne

Armand Vallee, 1926
I’m not sure of the story behind this image. The artist Christian Schumann shared it on facebook.

Faust illus. by René Clarke, 1932
via Book Graphics

Fullscreen

Marcus Behmer, c. 1900
via Swann
previous feature on Behmer

The Emperor’s New Clothes, DDR style
via the new blog Red Sails

Fumo der Rauchgeist (Fumo the Smoke Spirit) by Elfi & Kurt Wendlandt, 1962
again via Red Sails

illus. by Cesar from Le Canard enchainé
via Multiglom via BibliOdyssey’s tumblr

“Threshold” by Kevin Lucbert, 2014
website / tumblr

recent work by Josh Courlas

I featured Josh Courlas on But Does it Float a couple years ago (pretty please archive your old work Josh!)

recent work by Josh Courlas

Little Red Riding Hood, illus. by Tibor Kárpáti (Hungary, 2006)
via the International Children’s Digital Library

Little Red Riding Hood, illus. by Tibor Kárpáti (Hungary, 2006)
via the International Children’s Digital Library

by Merijn Hos

Childcraft, vol. 14, Quarrie Corporation, 1939
via ha.com

The Fabulous World of Jules Verne, Hungarian poster, 1958
via ha.com
Heritage says it is a “representation of the Czech film The Fabulous World of Jules Verne, based on the 1896 Verne novel Face the Flag. The tale is cleverly filmed in a special process which causes every image on screen to resemble an old-fashioned woodcut engraving, which the poster offered here mimics to great effect.”

Czech Planet of the Apes poster by Vatislav Hlavaty
via ha.com

Romanian Planet of the Apes poster, 1978
via ha.com

Creeping Poison movie poster, 1946, Austria
via ha.com
According to Heritage this film — also known as Schleichendes Gift — is “a post-WWII documentary about venereal disease.”

detail

ex-libris collection

Bookplates from the collection of Richard SicaMarin Gruev (Bulgaria, b.1963) Konstantin Kalynovych (Russia, b. 1959) Also see a post I did on this artist on But Does it Float Endre Vadász (Hungary, 1901-44) artist unknown Enrico Vannuccini (Italy) artist unknown Harry Jürgens (Estonia/Germany, b. 1949) Jaroslav Marik Endre Vadász (Hungary, 1901-44) Rudolf Lipus (Germany) Takeshi Katori (Japan, b. 1949) Takeshi Katori (Japan, b. 1949) Otto Greiner (Germany, 1869-1916) Julian Jordanov (Bulgaria, b. 1965) See all bookplate posts on 50 Watts (including parts 1 through 11 of this series). This post first appeared on March 19, 2014 on 50 Watts