Tom Lovell

Last updated
Tom Lovell
GEN. JOHN A. QUITMAN AND BATTALION OF MARINES ENTERING MEXICO CITY.JPG
General John A. Quitman and a Battalion of Marines Entering Mexico City, 1847, a painting by Tom Lovell
Born(1909-02-05)February 5, 1909
New York
DiedJune 29, 1997(1997-06-29) (aged 88)
New Mexico
OccupationArtist

Tom Lovell (5 February 1909 – 29 June 1997) was an American illustrator and painter. [1] He was a creator of pulp fiction magazine covers and illustrations, and of visual art of the American West. He produced illustrations for National Geographic magazine and many others, and painted many historical Western subjects such as interactions between Indians and white settlers and traders. [2] He was inducted into the Society of Illustrators' Hall of Fame in 1974. [3]

Contents

Life

Lovell was born in New York City on 5 February 1909 to Henry S. Lovell Jr., a telephone engineer, and Edith Scott (Russell) Lovell. He was the second of three children. [4] He was a keen reader as a child, and although he received no early training in art, he often visited the Museum of Natural History in New York, beginning a fascination with Native American objects and weapons. In 1927, he was the valedictorian of his high school, and at graduation, he spoke on "the ill treatment of the American Indian by the U. S. Government." He attended Syracuse University from 1927 to 1931.

Lovell married Gloyd "Pink" Simmons in 1934 and moved to Norwalk, Connecticut. They had two children, David and Deborah. [5] In 1940 Lovell and his family moved to an artists colony at Westport, Connecticut, where he became close friends with Harold von Schmidt, John Clymer, and Robert Lougheed. In 1972, he moved to Santa Fe New Mexico. In 1977, he moved to a seven-acre site in Santa Fe and built an adobe house and studio.

Lovell died in a car crash in New Mexico on 29 June 1997, aged 88. His 48-year-old daughter Deborah was also killed in the accident. [6]

Education

Lovell enrolled at Syracuse University in 1927, graduating in 1931. His college roommate Harry Anderson, classmate Elton Fax and teacher Hibbard V.B. Kline influenced his decision to become an illustrator. [5] In his junior year at Syracuse, Lovell sold drawings to popular "pulp" Western, gangster and detective magazines.

Career

"Tarawa, South Pacific, 1943" painting by Sergeant Tom Lovell, USMC Tarawa, South Pacific, 1943 by Sergeant Tom Lovell.jpg
"Tarawa, South Pacific, 1943" painting by Sergeant Tom Lovell, USMC

In the early 1930s Lovell shared a studio space in New York with Harry Anderson and Al (Nick) Carter. He eventually moved to the artist colony of New Rochelle just outside New York City. New Rochelle was home to a number of other illustrators, including Norman Rockwell and Mead Schaeffer. [7]

After 1936, Lovell progressed into providing illustrations for advertising agencies and slick magazines such as Redbook, Life, Collier's, The American, Woman's Home Companion, and Cosmopolitan. From 1940 onwards Lovell produced covers for several magazines including Ace-High Western, Clues, Complete, Detective Tales, Dime Detective, Rangeland Romances, Star Western, and Top-Notch. He also drew pen and ink interior illustrations for The Shadow, Courtroom Stories, Popular Western, Triple Western, and Clues.

Lovell served for two years in the Marine Corps Reserve during World War II. He was sent as a Staff Sergeant to Washington DC with John Clymer and Fred Lasswell to illustrate the Marine Corps magazine, Leatherneck .

On returning to Westport Lovell produced a set of historical drawings for National Geographic Magazine, including depictions of the Norman invasion of England, the career of Alexander the Great, and the conquests of the Vikings. He took great care in reproducing what he considered to be historical accuracy in the illustrations, including making models of weapons and ships, visiting historical sites and carrying out other research. He was also commissioned to create a series of paintings about Western oil exploration, as well as several paintings for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. [8]

In 1969, under commission from the Abell-Hanger Foundation, Lovell produced a series of paintings commemorating the history of the Southwest that are now on permanent display at the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum, Midland, Texas. These works, a historical series about Native Americans, represent a turning point in the subject matter of Lovell's work. From this point on he concentrated on depictions of Native American life, exploration of the West, and Western art.

In 1973, he was invited to become a charter member of the National Academy of Western Artists, and is the only artist to twice receive their Prix de West Award. In 1974, he was elected to the Society of Illustrators' Hall of Fame, and in 1975, became a member of the Cowboy Artists of America. In 1992, he received the Robert Loughweed Award from NAWA as well as their Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1994, he displayed several pieces at the National Academy of Western Artists Show in Oklahoma City.

The Tom Lovell Collection of personal letters, photographs and scrapbooks containing tear sheets of his completed paintings is currently held at the Norman Rockwell Museum Archives' Reference Center Collection. [9] In 2006, the NRM put several of Lovell's paintings on display as part of the exhibition "National Geographic: The Art of Exploration". [10]

Methods

Lovell said: "I consider myself a storyteller with a brush. I try to place myself back in imagined situations that would make interesting and appealing pictures. I am intent on producing paintings that relate to the human experience."

On illustrating for pulp magazines in the 1930s and 1940s: "Painting for the pulps was great training. You learned to tell a story in close compass. You couldn’t spread out over two pages, and you couldn't take three months to research it. You had to get the job out in ten days. This took discipline."

On historical research methods: "When you're painting history, it always comes down to fundamentals. Reading is a help. But writers don’t need the depth of information that a painter does. With a few well chosen words, a writer can set the scene, whereas an artist must know the costumes, the weapons, what the interiors looked like, the horse tack – all the thousand things to make it come alive. I wasn't there when Alexander marched across India. But I was able to do a painting of what Alexander did by working like hell at it."

Bibliography

Notes

  1. "More about Tom Lovell". Permian Basin Petroleum Museum. Archived from the original on November 8, 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  2. Hedgpeth, Don (1993). The Art of Tom Lovell: An Invitation to History. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc. ISBN   0-688-12645-6.
  3. Society of Illustrators. "Hall of Fame Past Inductees" . Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  4. "Tom Lovell". Field Guide To Wild American Pulp Artists.
  5. 1 2 Keeping the Spirit Alive". American Cowboy magazine. Sep–Oct 1994: 55–60.
  6. Crossings". American Cowboy magazine. Sep-Oct 1997: 14
  7. Tom Lovell Bio
  8. "Catalog".
  9. Tom Lovell Collection, Norman Rockwell Archives, Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Massachusetts
  10. "National Geographic: The Art of Exploration | Norman Rockwell Museum". Archived from the original on 2010-12-29. Retrieved 2013-06-01.

References

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Norman Rockwell</span> American painter and illustrator (1894–1978)

Norman Percevel Rockwell was an American painter and illustrator. His works have a broad popular appeal in the United States for their reflection of the country's culture. Rockwell is most famous for the cover illustrations of everyday life he created for The Saturday Evening Post magazine over nearly five decades. Among the best-known of Rockwell's works are the Willie Gillis series, Rosie the Riveter, The Problem We All Live With, Saying Grace, and the Four Freedoms series. He is also noted for his 64-year relationship with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), during which he produced covers for their publication Boys' Life, calendars, and other illustrations. These works include popular images that reflect the Scout Oath and Scout Law such as The Scoutmaster, A Scout Is Reverent and A Guiding Hand, among many others.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Frederic Remington</span> American painter and sculptor

Frederic Sackrider Remington was an American painter, illustrator, sculptor, and writer who specialized in the genre of Western American Art. His works are known for depicting the Western United States in the last quarter of the 19th century and featuring such images as cowboys, American Indians, and the US Cavalry.

John Ford Clymer was an American painter and illustrator known for his nature works featuring the American West.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Harvey Dunn</span> American painter

Harvey Thomas Dunn NA was an American painter and teacher. He is best known for his prairie-intimate masterpiece, The Prairie is My Garden (1950). In this painting, a mother and her two children are out gathering flowers from the quintessential prairie of the Great Plains.

Frank Tenney Johnson was a painter of the Old American West, and he popularized a style of painting cowboys which became known as "The Johnson Moonlight Technique". Somewhere on the Range is an example of Johnson's moonlight technique. To paint his paintings he used knives, fingers and brushes.

Thomas Kidd is an American science fiction and fantasy illustrator who lives in New Milford, Connecticut.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lee Brown Coye</span> American artist

Lee Brown Coye was an American artist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Regionalism (art)</span> American realist art movement

American Regionalism is an American realist modern art movement that included paintings, murals, lithographs, and illustrations depicting realistic scenes of rural and small-town America primarily in the Midwest. It arose in the 1930s as a response to the Great Depression, and ended in the 1940s due to the end of World War II and a lack of development within the movement. It reached its height of popularity from 1930 to 1935, as it was widely appreciated for its reassuring images of the American heartland during the Great Depression. Despite major stylistic differences between specific artists, Regionalist art in general was in a relatively conservative and traditionalist style that appealed to popular American sensibilities, while strictly opposing the perceived domination of French art.

Mort Künstler is an American artist known for his illustrative paintings of historical events, especially of the American Civil War. He was a child prodigy, who, with encouragement from his parents, became a skilled artist by the time he was twelve. Today he is considered the "best-known and most respected historical artist in the country."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ben Stahl (artist)</span> American artist and illustrator

Benjamin Albert Stahl was an American artist, illustrator and author. He showed precocious talent, winning a scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago at age twelve. His artwork appeared in the International Watercolor Show at the Art Institute when he was sixteen. He later taught at the Art Institute, as well as at the American Academy of Art, the Art Students League of New York, Brooklyn's Pratt Institute and at various universities.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Harold von Schmidt</span> American artist

Harold von Schmidt was an American illustrator, who specialized in magazine interior illustrations.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Philip Falter</span> American artist (1910–1982)

John Philip Falter was an American artist best known for his many cover paintings for The Saturday Evening Post.

Anita E. Kunz, OC, DFA, RCA is a Canadian-born artist and illustrator. She was the first woman and first Canadian to have a solo exhibit at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Harry Anderson (artist)</span> American illustrator and painter

Joseph Harry Anderson was an American illustrator and a member of the Illustrator's Hall of Fame. A devout Seventh-day Adventist artist, he is best known for Christian-themed illustrations he painted for the Adventist church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was also a popular illustrator of short stories in American weekly magazines during the 1930s and early 1940s.

Walter Joseph Biggs was an American illustrator and fine art painter.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Willie Gillis</span> Fictional character by Norman Rockwell

Willie Gillis, Jr. is a fictional character created by Norman Rockwell for a series of World War II paintings that appeared on the covers of 11 issues of The Saturday Evening Post between 1941 and 1946. Gillis was an everyman with the rank of private whose career was tracked on the cover of the Post from induction through discharge without being depicted in battle. He and his girlfriend were modeled by two of Rockwell's acquaintances.

<i>Four Freedoms</i> (Rockwell) 1943 painting series by Norman Rockwell

The Four Freedoms is a series of four oil paintings made in 1943 by the American artist Norman Rockwell. The paintings—Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear—are each approximately 45.75 by 35.5 inches, and are now in the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The four freedoms refer to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's January 1941 Four Freedoms State of the Union address, in which he identified essential human rights that should be universally protected. The theme was incorporated into the Atlantic Charter, and became part of the Charter of the United Nations. The paintings were reproduced in The Saturday Evening Post over four consecutive weeks in 1943, alongside essays by prominent thinkers of the day. They became the highlight of a touring exhibition sponsored by The Post and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The exhibition and accompanying sales drives of war bonds raised over $132 million.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Remington Schuyler</span> American painter

Remington Schuyler (1884–1955) was an American painter, illustrator and writer during the early to mid twentieth century. He was born in Buffalo, New York and was named after Frederic Remington, a distant cousin of his mother and an accomplished artist from the period.

The New Rochelle artist colony was a community of artists, actors, musicians, playwrights and writers who settled in the city of New Rochelle, New York, during the early twentieth century. By the 1920s, New Rochelle had more artists per capita than almost any city in the United States, and newspaper headlines were referring to the community as "Greenwich Village without the Greenwich."

Gloria Maria Stoll Karn was an American artist who specialized in graphic art that was published in pulp magazines. Her work is contained in private collections and in the permanent collections of Speed Art Museum, Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Pittsburgh Public School, Yale, the Carnegie Museum of Art. Stoll Karn graduated from New York's High School of Music and Art in 1941.