Wednesday, 13 January 2016

The perfect Parker

Another fine illustrator title from Auad Publishing and like their Albert Dorne book this one shows of Parker's work as it should be displayed. There are probably more than two examples of editorial art, magazine covers and ads. I like the way so much of the work reproduces the end result with the headlines and text in place but there are plenty of examples of paintings as they were delivered to the client and before the Art Directors got involved.

Nicely there are several series here, twenty-four of those wonderful mother and daughter covers for the Ladies Home Journal Parker painted between 1939 and 1952, seven covers for the TV Guide and work for McCall's, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping and nine paintings for American Airlines ads. There's also a fascinating twenty-one pages of mono photos (and the finished art) of models taken as reference to get the compositions just right.

Parker like other artists of the forties and fifties defined commercial art of these decades though I think people like Dohanos, Dorne, Briggs, Fawcett, Fuchs or Whitmore were just as good but Parker had a little something extra, he was adept at changing style to suit whatever the client wanted. Cosmopolitan for September 1954 rather uniquely used him to illustrate every story with each one having a different look, there are ten works from that issues over four pages.

A slight disappointment with the book (and the same applied to the Albert Dorne title) is that there are no technical details about how Parker worked, types of paper or canvas, brushes, paints, preliminary roughs and changes. How he created this great art would have made the book complete for me.

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