Monday, January 30, 2023

Rockwell Kent Paintings

Rockwell Kent (1882-1971) was a well-known painter and illustrator.   I wrote about his illustraton work here.   This lengthy Wikipedia entry provides backgound information.

It seems Kent was highly political.  For example, in 1967 the Soviet Union awarded him the Lenin Peace Prize.

Fortunately, as best I can tell from Internet surfing of images of his paintings, he stuck mostly to nature as his subject matter.  In particular, he made many paintings featuring snow and ice.

For most of his career his style was Moderne - simplified shapes, as can be seen in the Gallery below.


Winter, Monhegan Island - 1907
Monhegan is small island off the coast of Maine that Kent visited several times over his career. This painting predates his Moderne style, and is pleasingly well-done.

Winter in the Berkshires - 1909
Another fairly early work.  The Berkshires are a low mountain range along the Massachusetts - New York border.

The Trapper - 1921
By now, Kent's mature style has emerged.

Terra del Fuego - 1924
Near the southern tip of South America.

Artist in Greenland - c.1935
Yes, Kent was there too.

December Eighth, 1941
This is different.  The title refers to the day following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that plunged the United States into World War 2.  Presumably Kent meant to feature symbolism here, though it's so subtle I can't decide what it might be.

Monhegan - c.1948
A summer scene, but nearly as simplified as his snow scenes.

Blackhead, Monhegan - c.1950
Another aspect of Monhegan.

Mt. Assiniboine, Canadian Rockies - c.1952
Early fall in western Canada.

AuSable Valley, View of Whiteface - c.1955
This painting has much less of Kent's expected simplicity.  The setting is New York State near the Canadian border, Whiteface being a major mountain in the Adirondacks and a well-known (to New Yorkers) ski center.  Kent lived here in the Adirondacks for many years.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Arthur Radebaugh's Flashy Future (and Present)

Arthur Radebaugh (1906-1974) had the tools to be an industrial designer or car stylist, as practiced in the 1930s and 40s.  If not, he could have made a living making presentation illustrations in those fields.

Background information is here and here.

As it happened, he made a living as an illustrator doing magazine covers, article illustrations, product illustrations, and even a newspaper Sunday supplement feature.  His work was distinctive and popular for many years.  I enjoyed seeing his stuff when I was young.

Examples are shown below.  Click on images to enlarge.


MoToR Magazine cover, Auto Show issue, November 1936
Radebaugh did covers for MoToR for many years.  The model car in this illustration is very advanced for 1936.  I think he could easily have become a professional automobile stylist in those days.

Bohn advertisement - 1946
Fantasy post- World War 2 passenger airplane.  It has two main decks: sleeper capability on the upper one and a Boeing Stratocruiser-like lower lounge abaft of the wing.  Plus, there's a railroad type Club Car at the aft end.

Futuristic car, diamond wheel pattern

"Closer Than We Think" newspaper panel - from around 1960
On the left is a design typical of 1950s Dream Cars.  As mentioned, Radebaugh had the appropriate stuff.

United Air Lines - 1939 or perhaps 1940
Airbrush illustration featuring a DC-3.

Dodge catalog illustration - 1939
Again, airbrush.  The car's proportions are altered -- typical advertising illustration practice beginning in the 1930s.

Dodge catalog illustration - 1939
Note the spaceship.

1951 Chrysler Imperial Club Coupe advertising  illustration
Again, distortion.  Those Chryslers were actually taller and boxier.  The skyline in the background is more 1930s Moderne than postwar. 

Monday, January 16, 2023

Jules Gotlieb Illustrations

Jules Gotlieb (born 1897, date of death unavailable, but perhaps after 1964) was a competent American Illustrator who did not manage to attain fame during his long career or later.

For instance, David Apatoff in this post, "Who Are All These Illustrators?" included Gotlieb with others who were competent, yet obscure even to him.  And David is an illustration uber-maven!

Which is probably why very little of Gotlieb's work can be found on Internet searches.  Below are most of his images that I came across.


MoToR Annual Show Number cover - 1929
Gootlieb's theme of a beautiful woman and a small car is a continuation of a cover theme from as early as a 1924 cover by Coles Phillips.

MoToR Annual Show Number cover - 1930

MoToR Annual Show Number cover - 1931

MoToR Annual Show Number cover - 1932
Something is wrong with her face.

The Spider's Touch - This Week magazine, 3 May 1936 - via Apatoff

Toy Store - c.1945
Vignette and page layout.

Yankee Stranger - c.1945

Egyptian Funeral - American Weekly - 7 April 1947
Glamorous ancient Egyptians.

Mystery of the Maya Scriptures - 1950
Ditto Mayans.

Clandestine Meeting - Redbook magazine - January 1964
Via National Museum of American Illustration's Facebook page.  It looks like a Mead Schaeffer painting, but the collection doesn't include this image, according to their Web page.  And Gotlieb is not listed as an artist in the collection.  For now, let's call this illustration a "maybe."

Monday, January 9, 2023

Bertram Goodhue, Architect

Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue (1869-1924) died five days shy of his 55th birthday (Wikipedia entry here).  Another famous architect and near-contemporary, Raymond Hood (1881-1934), was similarly short-lived.  Hood's career might eventually have suffered due to the Great Depression construction drought had he lived a normal span.  The same might have been said for Goodhue, though he at least would have had six or so productive years before the impact hit: Makes me wonder what he might have done stylistically.  As it was, he was evolving from traditional styles before his death.

The link mentions that he lacked formal architectural training, but instead learned the trade as an apprentice.  That was not unusual in his day.

Many of the buildings he designed were religious sites: chapels and churches.  Not all his commissions were in New York City and the Northeast -- he designed significant buildings in Chicago, California, and Hawaii as well.

Wikipedia contains a list of his buildings.  Many were done in collaboration, and those completed after his death were under the aegis of other architects.  That said, it's likely that since the commissions were awarded before he died, he had given clients input as to his design concepts.  We can regard the buildings in the images below as essentially his.


Drawing by Goodhue
Some drawings were of European sites, others were fantasy images.

Cadet Chapel, West Point New York - 1910
An early major project.

St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, New York City - 1913-1930
This photo was taken after most of the first phase was completed.  A tower was planned over the transept.

St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, New York City - 1913-1930
But after Goodhue died, the tower was abandoned and a dome built, as seen in this 1950-vintage photo.

Panama-California Exposition, San Diego - 1915
The Museum of Man, my photo from 2010.

Honolulu Academy of Arts - 1927
Facade, my photo, from 2009.

Honolulu Academy of Arts - 1927
My photo of part of the interior court.

Nebraska state Capitol, Lincoln - 1924
Most American state capitol buildings have domes.  This skyscraper style was unusual, and probably shocking at first.   Though there is a small dome at the top of the tower.

Nebraska state Capitol, Lincoln - 1924
Aerial view.

Rockefeller Chapel, University of Chicago - 1928
Another aerial view, this of an impressive, large structure.

C. Brewer Building, Honolulu - 1931
In the Honolulu business district.  Another photo by me.

Monday, January 2, 2023

August Macke's Portrayals of His Wife

August Robert Ludwig Macke (1887-1914), Wikipedia entry here, was a Germain artist whose brief career took place during the years when Modernist "isms" were appearing thick and fast.

But as I noted in my post "August Macke: Restrained Modernist," he experimented with various Modernist ideas, yet continued to make more representaional paintings.  That was especially true when depicting his wife, which he did a great deal.

She was Elisabeth Erdmann-Macke (née Gerhardt, 1888-1978), who as noted here, had a career as a writer after Macke was killed in the aftermath of Germany's defeat in the Battle of the Marne.

Elisabeth's best feature was her very attractive face, and Macke depicted it in many of his drawings and paintings of her.  A few of these are presented below, along with some photos of her.

Image captions are mostly as found on the Internet.


No date for this photo.  But from the youthful shape of her head, it was probably taken before her 1909 marriage to Macke at about age 21.

August Macke and Elisabeth Gerhard in Bonn - 1908
Before their marriage.  He is wearing his army uniform, most likely because he was on leave from training.

August Macke with his wife Elisabeth and son Walther in 1911

Elisabeth reading - 1919

Elisabeth Gerhardt - drawing

Elisabeth am Schreibtisch
"Elisabeth at the Writing Table."  This painting and most of those shown below feature Macke's Modernist experimentation.

Elisabeth Reading

Portrait with Apples (Artist's Wife) - 1909
Just a little Modernist simplification here.

Portraetkopf der Frau des Kuenstlers - 1912
And here, a wisp of Cubism.

Elisabeth Gerhardt
This has an Oriental feeling.

Artist's Wife (Elisabeth Gerhardt) - 1909
Expressionist, dramatic, and interesting.