Tuesday, 14 September 2021

All the greats are here

Walt Reed seems to have a lock on work from members of the Society of Illustrators, this book is the 2001 edition, another one came out in 2003 with an additional twelve pages so I think it's basically the same. Worth saying that only members of the Society have their work included but this surely must be a significant collection of work that really does represent creative commercial art over the decades.

I'm mostly interested in work from the forties onward and all the greats are here, especially illustrators that did work for the weekly consumer titles before they ceased publication in the late fifties and early sixties. I was interested to see the change in styles in the last couple of decades up to 2000. Straight pictorialism slowly gave way to a much more graphic style of work so that artists in the 1990/2000 pages are much design-oriented in their work than the more conventional illustrators.

Overall a quite stunning reference book and all in color. This probably explains why pre-used copies are quite expensive. I searched the net and found an excellent copy at a surprisingly low price, though it had a small tear on the back of the dust jacket.


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