At the end of the war, the illustrator strutted amidst a pageant of plenty. Advertising budgets had skyrocketed and magazines bulged with fiction, providing work for all who painted in the style of the innovators.It was also a profession dominated almost exclusively by male illustrators.
During this era Arpi and Suren Ermoyan--one of the power couples of illustration-- moved into the house on Tanglewood Lane. They purchased it from R.G. Harris in 1953 and Harris moved back west to Arizona.
Arpi was one of the very few women to become a respected illustrator in those days.
|illustration from Cosmopolitan Magazine, June 1953|
|Cosmopolitan clipping from Leif Peng's Today's Inspiration|
She went on to become the Director of the Society of Illustrators and author of one of the premier books on illustration, Famous American Illustrators. She worked at the prestigious ad agency, Doyle Dane Bernbach, and curated gallery exhibitions of illustration art. She was a multidisciplinary force to contend with. Today illustration is no longer a boy's club, but surprisingly I've yet to hear a contemporary woman illustrator acknowledge Arpi Ermoyan's contribution in the early years.
Illustrators in Westport during this era used each other for models all the time, and Arpi was a favorite. As Cosmopolitan Magazine noted, neighboring illustrators would stop by the house on Tanglewood Lane and before you know it, Arpi had to "put aside her drawing board and start modeling." Several great illustrators of the era were inspired by her striking good looks and painted her into their illustrations:
|Arpi by John LaGatta|
|Arpi by Austin Briggs|
|Arpi by Bernie Fuchs|
By 1961, illustration had turned another page and the Ermoyans sold the house to the new kid in town, Bernie Fuchs.