Sunday, August 19, 2007

Lawson Wood




Lawson Wood was a popular illustrator who did lots of Collier's Magazine covers and other illustrations in the 30's and 40's. He became particularly famous for his chimps and other simians and these illustrations are from a calendar in the late 1940's. (Post-WW II, I think but i had to cut the illustrations away from the torn calendar part on the bottom, so I don't remember exactly).

The painting style is interesting and the expressions are unique. Click to see bigger. More to come...

21 comments:

Stephen Worth said...

Hi Will

Would you mind bringing these by the archive for me to scan sometime? I'm working on documenting Wood and I haven't seen these before.

Steve Stanchfield of Thunderbean is releasing the Iwerks Gran'pop Monkey cartoons. He brought some of them by the other day. They aren't particularly entertaining, but it's interesting to see them trying to translate Wood into animation.

Thanks
Steve

Will Finn said...

Steve--

Things are a little hectic lately, but i will try for Thurs. I'd be glad to let you scan them.

I forgot to mention the "Gran'pop" theme in the text but the calendar is called "ASK GRAN'POP"...

I've never seen the animated ones...

P.S. thanks for the link on Sheilah Beckett--that magazine stuff you published was very cool to see. Also loved the Kurtzman PIG comic.

Kali Fontecchio said...

Steve loves these- I saw some of his monkeys once.

Pete Emslie said...

These are really neat illustrations but pretty odd as well. They seem rather vague in regards to what type of apes they're supposed to be. "Gran'pop" seems to be an orangutan, but I'm not sure if any or all of the little tykes are as well. Sometimes they look more like chimps, and then there's a couple of shots where one has a monkey's tail?! I guess they're just supposed to be more fantasy than reality, sort of like the humanoid gorillas that used to be in the Burne Hogarth "Tarzan" comics.

amir avni said...

Lawson Wood is amazing, I remember doing some image processing of his illustrations at the archive, superb artist.

Will Finn said...

Amir,
I was at the archive today and steve showed me some of the lawson wood stash--wonderful!!! I have a few more of my own, (book illust., mag covers) i will post soon.

his paintings are an odd mix of very articulate skill and peculiar fantasy drawing. he seems, (for instance) to have made a selectively intricate study of primates and then made up his own versions of the animals as he sees fit. very unique...

Will Finn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy J Smith illustration said...

These remind me so much of the paintings on the walls at the Monkey Bar restaurant in NYC. If you r ever in NY, stop in there for a drink and check them out. Also check out the pricey buit tasty steaks! Thanks for the cool post. The Woody Woodpecker stuff was great too!
http://nymag.com/listings/bar/monkey_bar00/

Bruce said...

I'm gald you've enjoyed your visit at the archive, Will. I cannot wait when I go to L.A next year and see the place myself. I got alot of stuff the archive might be interested to see, so who knows what the future holds, right?

And thanks for introducing me to this unknown artist. His stuff is a visual treat.

Bruce said...

Oh, and in case if you are interested, I've done a post on one of my favorite Walter Lantz shorts.

Thad K said...

Will,
Was at the student enrollment weekend at Pittsburgh and found this plastered all over the walls there among their "Alumni" hall with posters of The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, etc.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v91/looneythad/willfinn.jpg

I wish they were a little more specific though!

chrisallison said...

Hey Will! It's Chris, the bald headed, starry eyed dreamer you met at John K's. You can see some composites on my blog if you're interested. I'll definitely let you know when the animation gets posted.

Your pal,
Chris

Will Finn said...

thad ---that is funny. i couldn't get arrested as a graphic designer but what the heck.

pittsburgh was a nice city to live in when i was there, but i havent been back in a LONG time. the school has moved to what i hear are nicer accomodations.

i hope you can keep blogging while youre there...

Will Finn said...

Hey Chris,

nice to meet you. John's a great host and i had a lot of fun.

i will set up a link pronto and look forward to your short!

Mike said...

Here's a few I stuck up on my site a couple of months ago - http://comicsdc.blogspot.com/2007/06/world-war-ii-posters.html

SHANE PRIGMORE said...

I just bought a bunch of magazines with his covers, oh and a calender too of all the monkeys. It was an old one from the 50s. I love his work. So demensional and charming. Thanks for posting these man

Will Finn said...

i have some older stuff i can put up too, but the book is pretty fragile.

he seems to have started out as a conventional "straight" illustrator, (and a fine one too) and veered into cartooning at some later point. a really good ink and pen guy, as well as a talented painter.

victoriaying said...

wonderful! I love the subtle hue changes in these

Dot said...

I have some Lawson Wood illustrations which appeared in "The Sketch" March 11th 1936. They are Gran'pop's Grand National Entry, Gran'pop Has His Lumbago Ironed Out, Gran'pop Inspects THe Latest Quins and Raising The Wind. Does anybody think that these are saleable??

Will Finn said...

Dot, you should contact Stephen Worth (link by clicking his name above...)
If they are originals you should try Illustration House in NY at their website.

Rex Willhelm said...

I have a collection of about ninety Lawson Wood chimp/monkey images. If anyone is interested in purchasing please contact me.
Thanks.