Monday, November 26, 2012


Just in time for the holidays,  Auad Publishing (which brought you last year's Robert Fawcett monograph) has released the first monograph dedicated to master illustrator Albert Dorne, the most successful commercial artist of his day.

The book is hard cover, 9x12" with a dust jacket and 160 deluxe pages. Like the Fawcett book, it was edited by the talented Manuel Auad, who was kind enough to let me write the text again.

Many thanks to Walt Reed, Howard Munce and Leonard Starr who generously provided me with their memories of Dorne.  Here is my favorite anecdote, from Starr:

The artist Andy Warhol explained to Albert Dorne, "Art must transcend mere drawing."  
"Pardon me, Andy," Dorne interrupted, "but there's nothing all that fucking mere about drawing."
Dorne was one tough bird, and as you can tell, completely unapologetic for the "commercial" nature of his work.

Thanks also to Magdalen and Robert Livesey for generously sharing the archives of Dorne's Famous Artists School, as well as to the Norman Rockwell Museum for their archives containing the illuminating correspondence between Dorne and Norman Rockwell.  Introduction by  Howard Munce, with a "graphic foreword" by Jack Davis.


Sean Phillips said...

My copy arrived this morning. It's a beautiful book, can't wait to get stuck in. Mark did a nice design too as usual.

MORAN said...

I've been waiting for a book about Dorne.

Amy June Bates said...

brilliant. Really Really glad you do what you do.

Unknown said...

Another must have book!
Not only are we living in the Golden Age of TV drama but also the Golden Age of books on illustrators.

Who's next? Who's left out?

Austin Briggs? Haddon Sundblom? Edwin Georgi?

David Apatoff said...

Sean Phillips-- glad you like it, Sean. And you're right about Mark, of course.

MORAN-- wait no longer. You'll never see another one like this.

Amy June Bates-- What a kind thing to say. Thanks very much. I'm a very lucky guy and I know it.

George Freeman-- There's a century of accumulated work out there that will disintegrate if people don't preserve it in books such as these. I'm glad people are getting to it. I can't speak to who else may be in the pipeline, but my next project, already under way, is the great Bernie Fuchs.

jake gumbleton said...

Thanks so much for doing what you do!
I can't wait for Mr fuchs! Amazing!

Kagan M. said...

Mine's in the mail! Can't wait. I'm also the proud owner of the brawl/crowd sketch in this post.

Anonymous said...

I wish I had the cash for this! But even more, I await the Fuchs book. Great to see this stuff, David...god, that crowd scene is just phenomenal.

Ken Meyer Jr.

David Apatoff said...

Jake Gumbleton-- Thank you kindly, I appreciate it.

Kagan M-- That's a great sketch. I like Dorne's complex sketches even more than I like his finished paintings.

Ken Meyer Jr.-- Please write me at

chuck pyle said...

Long long overdue recognition. Hurray for Mr. Auad, as usual

अर्जुन said...

I love his pencils, Albert Dorne could drawI

Upon receiving a prompt from Amazon I dutifully pre-ordered (released Jan 20, 2013) I'll post a comment on Jan 22. How about a book on Floyd Davis?

chuck pyle said...

I have MY copy, courtesy of Mr. Auad himself. Magnificent reproductions, and what a treat having Jack Davis, Barbara Dorne Bullas, and Howard Munce along with David weighing in on words and pictures. Another visual triumph accompanied by insightful words. Every illustrator needs this, next to the Fawcett book.

Anonymous said...

I looked at the pictures yesterday and today I am reading it. As someone said, very insightful. I don't like all of Dorne's work, but you explained exactly how to appreciate him. I'm glad to have it.


Trey said...

I've got my book on order.I love his ability but can't help feeling it was a talent that could have been put to much better uses than pictures of teenagers standing round a wurlitzer holding bottles of coke. I think Sickles and william a Smith were good examples of better practice.
In fairness his pictures of GIs are usually pretty awesome.

chris bennett said...

Thanks David, for a wonderful post.
That drawing is absolutely marvelous - it's as if the whole piece is tugged with the energy of that little dog snapping at the ankles of the cop.
And that quote of Dorne's reply to Andy Warhol; great! We need more like him pulling down the trousers (pants)of today's new cultural emperors.

Unknown said...

That pencil study makes me sick with envy. Well, back to the drawing board.

Anonymous said...

Auad publishing is planning to release its long delayed project on Nestor Redondo. If happen, that would also be the very first book on Redondo, Noli Auad's contemporary in their native Philippines. Yes, the country of Manny Pacquiao.


shaka zulu said...

Its a wonderful book, and the thought of a similarly well-executed treatment of Bernie Fuchs is very how about David Stone Martin!

Marian Williams said...

I just bought a copy of the Famous Artists Course in a junk store. It has the tissue paper sketch- as above- the brawl scene-do you know is it valuable? How can I get it appraised? Thanks!

Italo Baudo said...

Beautiful book! Are you considering publishing them in e-book format as well? I personally think that will be a good move because it will expand dramatically its diffusion among people who are not aware or can't pay the high cost of the hard cover editions. Do you agree?