Monday, September 18, 2023

Bartow Van Voorhis Matteson - 1920s Illustrator

Bartow Van Voorhis Matteson (1894-1984) was an illustrator active in the 1920s who might have transitioned to Fine Arts later during his long life.   I can find virtually no biographical details about him on Google and Bing searches or in my reference library.

Below are some examples of his illustration work, most from the 1920s.  Some are competently done, and appeared in some of the better magazines.  A few others are of lesser quality.


U.S. Army Medical Department poster - c.1918
Matteron signed this as an Army lieutenant.  I don't think this poster is well-done artistically and persuasively.

Vignette format Western romance scene
Matteson did a number of Western romance story illustrations.  This is not his best: note the poor anatomy at the man's neck and shoulder.

Farm scene
Story illustration.

The Courtship
Another Cowboy romance.  Essentially the same costume as seen above.  The girl is nicely depicted.

Under the Moonlight
From the same story as the preceding image?  Costumes are nearly the same.  Or did Matteson simply repeat the same sort of clothing again and again when called to do Western love stories?

Gypsies Paused at the Clearing
This is comparable to 1920s illustrations by better-known artists such as Dean Cornwell.

Heartache at Sea
Another competent work.

Lovers and swans scene - The Country Gentleman magazine - 1926
For reasons of printing economy in those days, many illustrations were created and printed in duotone.

The Proposal - 1930
The lady is poorly drawn: her head is too large for her body.

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