Fine Art Notebook™

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Juxtaposition of Styles, Eras Makes Four Arts Shows Intriguing

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J.C. Leyendecker

An illustration by J.C. Leyendecker. Courtesy of the Hearst Corporation.

There are currently two adjacent illustration shows on view at The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach with work on loan from Hearst publications that was done by prominent American illustrators.   The work of Howard Chandler Christy and J.C. Leyendecker is grouped into one show titled “The Art of Illustration” and portrays two periods of time in American history.   The works in the other show, “The Bazaar Years,” was done by Andy Warhol and shows a collection of whimsical, some never-before-seen, illustrations that he did for Harper’s Bazaar in the 50s and 60s.

What struck me about the two exhibits is how collectively they demonstrate a profound shift in our nation’s collective mindset over a period of time that spans less than 100 years.  It’s interesting to see the progression from Christy’s romanticized soldiers to Warhol’s ladies shoes.  As the illustrations accompanied the journalism of their day — and journalism provides a glimpse into the era in which it was written — one sees an enormous shift in values from honor and heroism to an obsession with status and wealth.

You can read my full review of these exhibits at The Palm Beach ArtsPaper.

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