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Article

Aaris Sherin

(b Pittsburgh, PA, 1912).

American graphic designer, illustrator and painter. A student of Alexey Brodovitch, she graduated from the Philadelphia Museum of Industrial Arts and went off to assist Brodovitch as instructor at the Design Laboratory (1935–8). She was art director for Mademoiselle Magazine (1944), Harper’s Bazaar (1940, 1946), Seventeen and House & Garden (both 1949). Her freelance credits included Fortune, House & Garden, Life, Look, Seventeen, Town & Country and Vogue magazines. A successful designer and art director, the early part of her career was spent as a commercial artist. Later she turned primarily to illustration and fine art; areas where she completed the bulk of her life’s work. Today she is known for her small paintings, which are widely collected.

Falconer’s paintings are small landscapes and still-lifes that provide intimate vignettes of somewhat pedestrian subjects. The work has commonalities with folk-art, Surrealism and realism without falling into any one genre. She always approached her subject head on, depicting the commonplace in scenes including spice jars, flowers, boats, building facades and interiors. Her rendition of three pansies is given equal attention as her depiction of the more visually complex river boat houses in New Orleans. Regardless of content, she gives personality to her subjects with precision and a combination of softness and detail that reminds one of early American primitivism, without seeming either stiff or rigid. She designed six stamps for the US Postal Service including the Rose Stamp booklet (...

Article

Hana Myslivečková

(b Světec u Bíliny, July 31, 1873; d Dachau, June 11, 1944).

Czech printmaker, designer, illustrator, painter, and teacher, active also in the USA. From 1892 he studied at the School of Applied Industrial Art in Prague (in Friedrich Ohmann’s Decorative Architecture workshop). In 1897 he left for Paris, where in 1898 he worked for Alphonse Mucha, familiarized himself with graphic techniques, worked in applied graphics, and experimented with lettering and design, and photography. His early, Secessionist, work was influenced by Japanese art and Symbolism. After his return to Prague in 1903 he devoted himself to illustration, publishing an album, Coloured Etchings in the Graphic Art Atelier at Vinohrady, Prague (New York, 1906), and the book Barevný lept a barevná rytina [Coloured etching and coloured engraving], and founding the periodical Česká grafika. Preissig lived in the USA from 1910, gaining a reputation as an innovator in the field of book and advertising graphic design, typography, and illustration, in which fields he introduced the linocut and other special graphic techniques. He taught at art schools in New York, and from ...

Article

Janet Marstine

(b Woodstown, NJ, Nov 6, 1876; d New York, May 1, 1953).

American painter, illustrator, designer, playwright, and film director. He studied industrial design at the Spring Garden School in Philadelphia from 1888 to 1890. In 1893 he became an illustrator at the Philadelphia Press. Simultaneously he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, where he met Robert Henri, John Sloan, William J. Glackens, and George Luks. Their style of urban realism prompted him to depict the bleak aspects of city life. In 1897 Shinn moved to New York and produced illustrations for several newspapers and magazines, for example Mark Twain (March 1900; see Perlman, p. 80), a frontispiece for The Critic. He also drew sketches for a novel by William Dean Howells on New York; although the novel was not published, Shinn’s drawings brought him national recognition.

Shinn’s work changed radically when, on a trip to Paris in 1901, he was inspired by the theatre scenes of Manet, Degas, and Jean-Louis Forain. He began to paint performers in action, from unusual vantage points, as in ...