The highly anticipated release of Masters of American Illustration- 41 Illustrators and How They Worked has finally come. I have been waiting for a volume like this since I stumbled upon a similar book from the 1940's titled 40 Illustrators and How They Worked which I profiled in an earlier post.
This volume by Illustration historian Fred Taraba and published by The Illustrated Press compiles twelve years worth of his popular Golden Age Illustrator profiles titled "Methods of the Masters" from Step By Step Magazine. This book is massive at 432 pages and the 9" x 12" page format allows plenty of room to enjoy the copious full color reproductions.
The text is informative and insightful without getting overly wordy. Taraba allows the pictures to speak for themselves and speak they do. Many of the profiles show preliminary sketches as well as the reference photos used in the process of each artist.
Plenty has already been written about luminaries such as N.C. Wyeth, Norman, Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish, Howard Pyle and the like, so they are not covered here, but those familiar with early and mid 20th century illustration will find plenty of artists they recognize such as Franklin Booth, Austin Briggs, Pruett Carter, Jon Whitcomb and Coby Whitmore. There are also features on other artists that though largely forgotten, are no less worthy of coverage. I look forward to enjoying my copy for years to come and highly recommend it to any artist or fan of American Illustration.
Buy your copy of 41 Illustrators and How They Worked