There is a danger that my new found love of illustrators from time gone by is verging on becoming an obsession. I just can’t stop looking at the illustrations in my Woman’s Own magazines and researching the writers. Thankfully, I’ve found the amazing Today’s Inspiration blog (amongst others) to help me out.
I’ve searched through the stack of mags to pull out all of the March editions. Luckily, I’ve managed to get some from the 50s, 60s and 70s so it’s been wonderful to see how illustration has evolved.
Beginning with the 1950s (1951 to be precise) is this illustration by R. G. Harris:
I admit to finding this picture slightly scary; there’s something about her eyes and smile. She looks like she might eat me actually! R. G. Harris apparently worked on Western magazines before ‘graduating’ to the more widely pubished women’s magazines. Lots, lots more information to be found:
- Laurie’s Wild West: Pulp Artist R. G. Harris
- Greatest American Painters
The next one is by Pruett Carter from 1954:
I like the woman in this one. She seems to have a lively air to her, far more than the man she’s gesturing at.
Leif Peng has lots of information about Pruett Carter over at Today’s Inspiration. Well worth a look. It seems he was a mentor to many other illustrators of the era.
This is my favourite one from the March 1950s illustrations:
I should point out that the titles I’m giving to these illustrations are the titles of the stories they accompany; mainly because I don’t know what else to call them.
That Heseltine picture is definitely my favourite, because of the dress, her hair and jewellery. There’s something of a gypsy look to her which is quite different from the usual blonde-haired, innocent looking girl. This picture is most certainly of a sultry, sophisticated and knowing woman.
Unlike Carter and Harris, John Heseltine was a British Illustrator (source: Pam Masco at PamMasco.Org). There doesn’t seem to be as much information on him online as some of the other illustrators, but Pam Masco’s site is a good place to start. There still aren’t many of his illustrations on her site, so I’ll keep my eyes open (as usual!) while I’m reading my Woman’s Own mags.
Next up will be the 1960s and quite a change in illustration style.
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I am the daughter of John Heseltine the illustrator and have many of his illustrations. He is still alive although now 90. Elaine Heseltine Carp