Friday, April 3, 2015

Lewis Baumer: Cartoonist and All-Rounder

Lewis Baumer (1870-1963) made his career as a cartoonist and book illustrator, but like some of his English contemporaries (I'm thinking of you, Heath Robinson), he was capable of a lot more. That was because he was trained at the Royal Academy of Arts and the Royal College of Art, among other places. Biographical information on him can be found here and here.

I'm not sure that Baumer had the right stuff to succeed doing fine arts painting, and perhaps he came to a similar conclusion. At any rate as early as 1893 his illustrations began appearing in the Pall Mall Gazette, and by 1897 was in Punch, England's leading humor periodical. Besides magazine work, he also illustrated many books -- a list is in the first link, above. By the 1920s, he was doing some portrait painting on the side.


The Paralysing Fascination of The Latest Step - Punch Almanack - 1922
A cartoon from before the era of the strong punchline.

Baumer was also an etcher of some skill.


The Little Model

Eileen - ca. 1925

Girl in a Red Coat - 1927
This is the largest image I could find.

Noel Streatfeild - ca. 1926
I like this portrait a lot, though can't quite explain why.

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