Artist Research: NC Wyeth

NC (Newell Convers)Wyeth (1882-1945)  was an American artist who began drawing as a child.  Through out his childhood, he received training from several schools until the age 20 when he was enrolled into Howard Pyle School for the sessions of 1902.  Under Pyle’s teachings, Wyeth began to blossom as an artist.  This led to him getting his first illustration assignment within the same year.  He was asked to create a cover for The Saturday Evening Post.  Later he went on to do more  illustrations for other magazines until becoming a contributor to Harpers, McClures, and Scribners.  Wyeth graduated from Pyle’s School in 1904, but still continued to use the studio to paint.


Artist Research:Maxfield Parrish

Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966) was an American painter and illustrator who is best non for his classical style and saturated hues.  He began drawing as a child just to keep himself entertained.  He received early training from his father Stephen Parrish who was a painter and print maker.  Parrish later studied college at Haverford  College.  He changed to painting and took classes under Howard Pyle at the Drexel Institute.  Parrish created several posters, designs and illustration for Harper’s Weekly, The Century, and Collier’s. Some of his work were fantasy influenced and consist of woodland scenes.  His other work consisted of calendars and books such as The Golden Age and Day Dreams that were created by Kenneth Grahame.  In 1898 designed and built his own home in New Hampshire.  Parrish work had a big influence at this time.  Several colored calendars and prints adapted to his style and sold millions.

Aritst Research:Ludwig Hohlwein

Ludwig Hohlwein (1874-1949) was educated as an architecture, but later started a career in poster designing.  This gained him popularity while working in Germany.  Because of his unique style, his work was easily established and recognizable.  During the first World War, Hohlwein was employed by the German government to create propaganda posters.  His influence for his work were the events of the Arts and Crafts movement flourishing in Vienna at the time.  By the early 20th Century, he was established as the most important and greatest poster artist in Germany at the time.  Also Hohlwein did work for World War II.  He became the German master of color and line with his unique use of colors and tones.

Artist Research:Joseph Leyendecker

Joseph Leyendecker (1874-1951) was both an illustrator and entrepreneur.  One of his inspirations was Norman Rockwell. In 1896 he won a context for Century Magazine which brought his work to national notice.   As a book and magazine illustrator,  Leyendecker painted 322 covers for the Saturday Evening Post.  He also painted for painted for American Weekly, Collier’s, Century Illustrated, and the  Ladies’ Home Journal. Some of his work also includes painted posters of athletic men and lithe women.  His later work were designs for fashion in which ended defined the 20th century era.  There are only a handful of books illustrated by Leyendecker.  He focused mostly on cover assignments which paid more and required less effort.  In 1907 he formed a relationship with Arrow Collar. During this period, he created an American icon that was a counterpoint to the Gibson Girl.  

Artist Research: Jessie Willcox Smith

Jessie Willcox Smith (1863-1935) was an American illustrator who is famous for her work in several children books and the Ladies Home Magazines She was also a student of Howard Pyle and considered the most gifted of all his students.  Her work was considered very mature for her age.  Smith’s art didn’t resemble her teachers, but of several poster artists such as Edward Penfield and Toulousen Lactrec.  Her art style resembles those of Art Nouvea and the Art and Crafts movement.  Smith’s use of the styles inspired a school of followers.  Her illustrations often depicted moments of childhood such as fear of the dark or playing with blocks.  Smith’s portrayal of children changed the American culture.

Artist Research: James Montgomery Flagg

James Montgomery (1877-1960) was an American artist and illustrator who work ranged from painting to cartooning.  He sold his first illustration at the age of twelve.  By the age fifteen, he was working for Judge and Life magazines, which were both popular during this time.He is mostly known for his propaganda posters.  One of his famous ones is the a depiction of Uncle Sam which became an American symbol.  Montgomery used his own face to create the image while later adding details such as the the white beard and the red, white, and blue clothing.  In the image he has Uncle Sam staring intensely at the viewer while pointing at the same time.  It meant to send a message that said “I Want You for U.S. Army.”  Also, he designed the Red Cross posters during World War II.  His work was also published in popular magazines during his time.  Also, he was well known for his short stories. In 1980, he was elected into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame.

Artist Research:Howard Pyle

Howard Pyle (1853-1911) was an American and author.  His first success was his work for The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood in 1883.  The book was released in both America and Britain and received much praise for it’s design.  In his other work, Arthuriad, he demonstrated his fascination in the English tales.  The book was both criticized and admired, but it still was regarded as having a sense seriousness.  Pyle later published three collection of folk tales and rendition of the Brothers Grimm.  He used several cultural influences to create his work.  This allowed him to create something new and different.  In his collection Twilight Land and a Modern Aladdin, he moved away from the English style and use Germanic influences instead.  The result was something more oriental than his previous work.