We may not always remember their names, but we know their creations. For generations, their paintings and drawings have made fantasies and exploits come to life on the pages of books and magazines. Their characters have charmed movie audiences. And their humorous drawings continue to offer wise commentary on the human race. With a few bold, simple lines, they evoke ease or excitement and, just as easily, stir fear or patriotism.
These artists—as designers, cartoonists and illustrators—have made significant contributions to America’s cultural life. The Art Students League’s growth as a school coincided with the Golden Age of American Illustration, the advent of advertising and cartoons, and the rise of motion pictures. Some of the leaders in these developments became important teachers at the League; many others trained there. For the first time in its long history, the League will showcase work by its alumni and instructors who are part of this legacy. From October 10 to November 7, the League’s Harriman gallery will host Celebrating the Line: Outstanding Illustrators, Designers and Cartoonists of the Art Students League.
The exhibit will feature paintings and drawings by such luminaries as illustrators Dean Cornwell, Howard Pyle, and Norman Rockwell; cartoonists Al Hirschfeld, Will Eisner, and Max Fleischer; fashion designer Bonnie Cashin and graphic designer Saul Bass. Great children’s book illustrators Wanda Gag and Dorothy Lathrop are featured. Contemporary talents represented will include Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jules Pfeiffer; Dune illustrator John Schoenherr; and Marvel Zombies artist Arthur Suydam, who also introduced painted sequential art in the U.S. with the series titled Mudwogs and Den.
Generous loans from collectors and individual artists as well as from the Fashion Institute of Technology, the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators and the Salmagundi Club have resulted in an exhibition of great scope and depth of talent.