Al Parker: Illustrator, Innovator
The latest volume in our series highlighting the great American illustrators. This lavishly illustrated book covers every aspect of this important artistâ€™s career with authoritative articles, hundreds of incredible full color illustrations and rarely seen photographs.
One of Americaâ€™s best known magazine illustrators from the 1940â€™s to the 1960â€™s, Al Parker was an innovator, a trend setter and a constant experimenter. Each chapter describes his top work for every key American magazine, from fiction illustrations to advertising to covers.
He was the go-to artist in all the early â€œslicks,â€ the highest peak a commercial artist could attain in his day. Colliers, Ladieâ€™s Home Journal, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, McCallâ€™s. And in genre pieces: Grand Prize Automobiles, Jazz, and the series Janeâ€™s Blanket, plus Kit Parker films. A chapter captures his wonderful photography, â€œFrom Models to Printâ€ using beautiful models as well as himself and his family.
A 1964 interview captures his thoughts at the peak of his career. His niece talks about growing up with â€œUncle Alâ€ in Carmel Valley, California. Stephenie Plunkett writes about about â€œAl Parker and the American Womanâ€™s Magazine, 1940-60.â€ David Apatoff writes about Parkerâ€™s ability to change styles â€œas effortlessly as you or I might change socks.â€ In 1948, Norman Rockwell wrote Al a fan letter: â€œIt is simply extraordinary; your amazing creativeness, taste, and versatility. While the rest of us are working knee-deep in a groove, [you] are forever changing and improving. You have brought more freshness, charm, and vitality to illustration than any other living illustrator.â€
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