Sunday, January 10, 2021


Before cell phones converted every citizen into an amateur news photographer it was popular to employ illustrators as visual reporters.  Artists such as Burt Silverman, Daniel Schwartz, Marshall Davis, Hank Virgona, Robert Weaver, Harvey Dinnerstein, Franklin McMahon, Tom Allen, Paul Hogarth, Stan Hunter, and Harvey Schmidt were regularly assigned to create drawings to accompany news articles when photographs were unavailable or inadequate.   

Burt Silverman

Daniel Schwartz illustration for an article on Watergate

Hank Virgona illustration for an article on a jury's deliberation

Journalist illustrators appeared in magazines such as Life, Newsweek, Fortune, Holiday and Sports Illustrated regularly.

Marshall Davis illustrates an article on night court for Life Magazine

Feliks Topolski records the streets of Chunking

Noel Sickles reports on a NY political convention

Art like this, commissioned for reportorial purposes, tended to be forgotten as soon as the news became old.  But many talented artists contributed to this body of work, and they often came up with interesting and creative solutions.  

That's why, over the next several days, I'm going to offer up art by several of these artists who I believe are worth a second look.  I hope you'll agree. 


Anonymous said...

Ah yes! Looking forward to it. Thank you!

Mort said...

Hermenegildo Sábat had a story that when he moved to Buenos Aires in ´66-68 he joined the newspaper La Opinión, that didn´t use photographs. He had to do 6-7 illustrations per day.
By the time he went home, his arm felt like it was in a cast, useless.

@reem�� said...

Go forward