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. 

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