Monday, February 28, 2022

Paul George Lawler's Pan American Posters

Above is a well-known poster from around 1941.  The setting seems to be largely imaginary or exaggerated, but the airplane is correctly shown.   Pan American Airways was featuring its new Boeing 314 "Clipper" flying boat airliners.

A series of posters featuring Boeing 314s and, occasionally, other aircraft was commissioned by Pan Am in the years leading up to the USA's entry in World War 2.  The artist was Paul George Lawler.  My Internet search yielded essentially zero information regarding Lawler.  Nor did I find him listed in my illustration reference books.

This is somewhat surprising, because Lawler did nice work for Pan Am, and the airline almost surely did not want to trust such important publicity to someone without credentials.

Below are some examples of his Pan Am work.  A few images can be enlarged by clicking on them.


This poster is an early one because it shows the poorly-drawn original Boeing 314.  It had a too-small single tail that, after some testing, finally was replaced by a triple tail.

The aircraft in this poster seems to be based on Pan Am's Martin M-130 flying boat, though its sponsons are not shown.

Pan Am began flying Boeing 314s to Europe in 1939, shortly before the war.  By this time, Lawler had access to more and better reference photos of the 314.

Another well-known (in Hawaii, anyway) poster.  The size of the 314 was greatly exaggerated.  Compare the size of the passengers by the aircraft to those in the photo below.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Some Trieste Heads

The Italian port city Trieste was under Hapsburg rule for more than 500 years ending in 1918 at the conclusion of the Great War.

The sculptures of human heads I noticed on many buildings in the city probably date from Austrian, rather than times of Italian rule.  I don't know the ethnicity of the sculptors or the buildings' architects, however.  Many such heads were placed atop entries of buildings.

I was in town in October 2021 and took the following photos of some of those heads.


This 1930s Moderne style bas relief is in Trieste's cruise terminal area.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Robert Fawcett -- Discovering the Murder

Robert Fawcett (1903-1967) was partly colorblind.  Perhaps that was why his strengths as an illustrator were in composition and depiction of people and objects.  A brief biography is here.  I wrote about his early work here.

In the 1950s Fawcett illustrated many stories that appeared in major American general-interest magazines such as Saturday Evening Post and Collier's.  Quite a few of those were murder mystery stories.  Since those involved bodies, it made dramatic sense for Fawcett to show the body being discovered or perhaps examined by the detective.

Some examples are shown below.


These first three illustrations depict participants unknown to me.

From a Sherlock Holmes story in Collier's Magazine.

Another Sherlock Holmes story in Collier's.

Hercule Poirot finds this body in another mid-1950s Collier's issue.

Monday, February 7, 2022

Ferrara's Palazzo dei Diamanti

Ferrara Italy's painting museum, the Palazzo dei Diamanti, was built as a residence during the years around 1500.  As such, it has no particular architectural style, the exerior being something of a decorated box.  But the exteror d├ęcor is what distinguishes it, because the surface is covered with four-sided triangular shapes that were called diamanti (diamonds).

The building's Wikipedia entry is here, and its Web site is here.

I briefly visited Ferrara in October and took some photos of it.  Unfortunately, the day was gloomy, as are most of the pictures.


The corner facing the corsi Biaggio Rossetti and Ercole I d'Este -- the duke d'Este had the palazzo built as his home.

Ornamentation was placed at the corner.

Some details.

The Corso Biaggio Rossetti side.

Close-up view of the diamonds.

Corso Biaggio Rossetti entrance.