The best thing about Christmas morning (aside from great times with the family)is looking forward to the inevitable pile of new art books under the tree. This year was no exception and I got some good ones. Some are brand new and at least one is very old, slightly used and long out of print. Here's a rundown and review of what the jolly fat man brought me. I have have only thumbed through them all, so these reviews are still cursory, but they all look great and I look forward to giving them all an in depth reading. Here they are in no particular order:
Blue Collar/White Collar by Sterling Hundley
My only complaint about this book is the size. At 6" x 9", this digest size book is a bit smaller than I would have preferred, but Hundley's work still packs power. It is sprinkled with process sketches and notes that look to be directly from the sketchbook. This collecetion showcases both Hundley's illustration and fine art career. His range and versatility are evident and I found myself inspired by the wide range of color, texture and composition in his work. This volume is a nice addition to my contemporary illustration books.
Howard Pyle- Rediscovering and American Master
This attractive volume has been compiled in conjunction with a special exhibition or Pyle's work at the Delaware Art museum. A number of authors and artists were asked to write on how Pyle's work has impacted American culture in the century since his passing. Howard Pyle was the premier illustrator and art instructor of his day with work appearing in magazines like Harper's monthly, Colliers and Scribner's Magazine. He is credited with influencing the visual depiction of knights, pirates and historical figures in every generation to the present. The reproductions in this book are top quality. I look forward to reading all the essays. Having visited both Pyle's studio and the Delaware Art Museum, this book will have a treasured place among my Golden Age illustrator volumes.
The Brandywine Tradition by Henry Pitz
This book has been out of print for decades, so I was excited to see it under the tree. Pitz was a student of Walter Everett who studied under Pyle, so I am sure there are many first hand accounts in this volume. Many years ago I confess to wanting to keep a Howard Pyle volume written by Pitz rather than returning it to the library. I think I was the only one who ever checked it out since it was eventually surplussed and I could no longer get it. I wish I had kept it and paid the lost book fine. This one I am sure will be an interesting read as well.
Robert Fawcett- The Illustrator's Illustrator by David Apatoff
This book showcases the incredible draftsmanship and composition of one the best mid century illustrators. It contains over 250 illustrations, most in full color. Fawcett's prodigous talent as well as keen business sence led him to become one of the most sought after and well compensated illustrators of his day. I was particularly interested in the several sidebar articles that discussed Fawcett's working process as well as the numerous sketches and examples of photo reference. I look forward to reading and analyzing the volume more in depth. I am sure it will inspire for years to come.