Friday, December 9, 2011

Albert Dorne, Illustrator

When Art Was His Oyster

Here is the earliest signed artwork I've found by legendary illustrator Albert Dorne. It appeared in Good Housekeeping magazine in December, 1926.

Dorne, you'll remember, was born in the New York City slums and began working to support his family when still a kid. His Wikipedia entry gives a sketch of his career arc from office boy to prestigious illustrator to founder of the Famous Artists School.

We all gotta start somewhere...Dorne would have been twenty years old when he drew this ad pushing the health benefits of oysters. It's competent, certainly, but looking at it one wouldn't have suspected the heights the artist would attain. The hands--later one of Dorne's specialties--are a bit clunky. Missing overall is the spirited mixture of realistic drawing and cartoon exaggeration that filled Dorne's illustrations with action and character.

One funny thing: he already had his signature down!I always felt that Dorne, who drew many continuity-style ads, would had been a heck of a comics artist. He just would have earned a few million dollars less during his career.

P.S.: I'd be interested to hear if anyone is planning to stuff their holiday turkey with oysters this year.

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