Saturday, November 5, 2011

Unsung Illustrators, Part I

UNSUNG ILLUSTRATORS, PART ONE:  You can almost hear the rustling of her taffeta gown as she is lowered slowly to the soft grass on the hillside on a warm summer's night, while below the lights, voices and music of the party slowly fade away as these two lovers anticipate a moment of promise of what is to come that no one else will ever know.  Her tender red lips are poised to receive his.  And his firm glance deep into her dreamy eyes tells her everything that words cannot, and dare not, express.  Soon, within moments of a kiss, two will become one and lost in a world that only lovers know, where time is suspended and anything and everything is possible.  From his beginnings in illustrating pulps to creating mini-masterpieces for the slick magazines, Robert George Harris (1911 - 2007) was an amazing original.  His sensual style rendered in rich colors brought a unique kind of American romance to such magazines as McCall’s, Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Redbook and The Saturday Evening Post.  He portrayed his subjects with tenderness, passion, compassion.  One can almost fall in love just by looking at his illustrations, such was their ability to engage the viewer who came to the magazines originally to read a good story.  What they got instead were images that lasted far longer than the words they were designed to accompany.  Such was the singular talent that was Robert George Harris.  Sadly, not much information exists on Harris as there ought to be in terms of images and praise, but from time to time I will publish some of his amazing illustrations.