Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Back to School!

Running a little behind, due to the preparation of syllabi and the like; classes begin today. In honor of visual communication education, here are images by two of the most influential and charismatic teacher-illustrators in the history of the profession: Howard Pyle (who founded the Brandywine School beginning in 1895 in the employ of Drexel University, then on his own property and terms after that) and Robert Weaver (whose instruction marked a generation of students at the School of Visual Arts in New York from the 1960s through the 1980s).

Images: Howard Pyle, An Attack on a Galleon, Illustration from “The Fate of a Treasure Town” by Howard Pyle. Harper’s Monthly Magazine, December 1905; Robert Weaver, visual essay on the derelict Ebbets Field in Brooklyn for Sports Illustrated, August 5, 1974. The accompanying article "In the Catbird Seat," was written by Roger Kahn, fresh from his celebrated memoir of the '57 Dodgers, The Boys of Summer (1972).


John Hendrix said...

Oh, those weaver images are so damn beautiful. I'd trade every drawing I ever made to have painted those.

Bill Koeb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill Koeb said...

I bought that issue of SI after seeing your post. I saw a black and white repro of one of the paintings in an older Illustrators Annual, and liked it. Seeing it is color is a treat.

The really truly amazing thing that I get from those pieces and the article is that by the time they were painted, in 1974, if that is when they were done, Ebbets Field no longer existed, so weaver had to have used photo reference, or older drawings, or both. Whether it was his photos or not, what comes across in the pieces is a feeling that he was standing there and saw the field as he painted it. They breath "real!"

They also feel like, at least to me, that they were painted in the 1950's, and really capture the mood of the description of that story. They do this without any overt symbolism or apparent artifice. If that is not brilliance in illustration, I don't know what is.

Thanks very much for posting them and sharing.

Bill Koeb