Sunday, January 05, 2020


I thought I knew a few things about illustration, but looking through boxes of old clippings is a real lesson in humility.  

I must've encountered a hundred capable, hard working illustrators I'd never learned about from the excellent reference books on illustration by authors such as Reed, Taraba, Heller, Watson, Doyle, Grove or Sherman.  

I'm not referring to the anonymous illustrators who come and go; I'm talking about recurring illustrators for major publications, artists who developed a style and signed their work and once upon a time qualified for a byline. 

For example, how many of you have heard of Marshall Frantz?

Or Sydney Seymour-Lucas?

Or David Hendrickson?

Or Douglas Duer?

The list goes on and on.  How many of you are familiar with O.F. Schmidt?

or Jules Gotlieb?

or Armand Both?

or Charles Dye?

or Emmett Watson?

or Robert O Reid?

or W. Smithson Broadhead?

There are so many neglected or forgotten illustrators whose hard earned achievements are preserved today only by yellowing and brittle collections like the one in my basement.


MORAN said...

That Sydney Lucas is awesome. I like him the best of the whole group. I never heard of him before.

chris bennett said...

Thank you for sharing all these David (your previous post included).
I've often looked back at my house some distance away on the side of a hill and thought how insignificant it looked against the rolling landscape and sky. How smaller still was the corner of the studio holding the years of my work. And how, if it were to rolled up, the total would be no more than the smoking chimney pot.

On a more cheerful and productive note: I was particularly struck by those pictures of Sydney Seymour-Lucas - very concentrated and resonant.

Wes said...

The old Readers Digest hardbound books are a great source of these forgotten artists. Opening up these ignored and cheap castaway books in second hand stores always gives a thrill to see fantastic art.

kev ferrara said...

Several of these guys are part of the Brandywine tradition.

You've exhibited these Duers before in a post, so I assume you know he was a Pyle student. He was one of the latter ones, working in one of Pyle's student studios at the time Pyle left for Europe.

Jules Gottlieb was a solid Harvey Dunn student. And Marshall Frantz was a student of Walter Everett at PMSIA during the WWI period.

Richard said...

Looks like I have some new names to add to my alerts!

David Apatoff said...

MORAN and chris bennett-- I agree with you about Sydney Seymour-Lucas... he's quite good, certainly the best of this lot. He apparently started off as an illustrator in England (illustrating Sherlock Holmes, among other stories) which may explain why he stayed off the radar in the US for so long.

chris bennett-- Yes, it's hard for the biggest things not to look insignificant when measured against a larger context. Heck, the entire earth is a microdot measured against the galaxy. But I take consolation from the perspective-restoring question: Do you see more through an airplane window or a microscope?

Wes-- Yes, I agree 100%. So many of the greats ended up working for Readers Digest: Sickles, Fawcett, Briggs, etc. took assignments from RD as a way of filling the gaps between more prestigious assignments. There are many RD illustrations included in my recent book about Briggs.

David Apatoff said...

Kev Ferrara-- I'm surprised that so many of these artists had connections to the Brandywine tradition. Frantz was not mentioned in the Pyle books or the Dunn book; next time I'll run the list by you beforehand.

You have a good memory about Duer; I cleaned up my raggedy tearsheets for that early post, but here you see them au naturale.
Apart from the tearsheets, everything I know about Duer I learned from the Delaware Art Museum, which has 3 or 4 of his originals. I don't think he ever received the attention he deserved.

Richard-- Good luck with that. I rarely, if ever, see art by these guys turning up. There may be hundreds of paintings stashed in the attic of some grandchild.

Norman Boyd said...

I'm loving this series based on artists' "morgues"! When researching we often see something we like and mention it and hopefully others might benefit. When looking at the Toronto Star Weekly I came across a lot of lesser known - to me anyway - artists so listed them hoping to help others. And lo and behold there's Marshall Frantz again!

Li-An said...

There are solid artists here. Robert O Reid is well known for his Collier’s covers. It’s such a pleasure to discover unknown artists.

Unknown said...

The image by Emmett Watson is from the the April 19, 1936 Philadelphia Record This Week Magazine. The entire page with the story is at

Emmett Watson lived from 1893 to 1955. Born in Richmond, Virginia, by age thirteen he had finished the sixth grade and worked full-time at a local engraving company drawing advertisements. He moved to New York City, and later during World War I, he served as a cartographer in France for the “Fighting 69th.” His painting "The Rouge Bouquet" commemorates a tragic early battle, which was also the subject of Joyce Kilmer’s poem with the same name.
His art includes covers for Adventure, American Legion Weekly, Argosy, Big Chief Western, Capper’s Farmer, Colliers, Detective Dime Novels, Detective Fiction Weekly, Double Detective, Everybody's, Farmer's Wife, Good Hardware, Judge, Leslie's, Liberty, Life, National Home Monthly, Parents’ Magazine, People's Popular Monthly, Phantom Detective, Progressive Grocer, Railroad Stories, Red Star Detective, Saturday Evening Post, Star Western, Thrilling Adventures, and Toronto Star Weekly. In addition, he drew magazine interior art and advertisements; hunting, fishing, and camping scenes for calendars; and illustrations for book jackets.
Digital images of his work can be seen at

Thanks for helping me get a wider audience for Emmett Watson's work.