Friday, August 8, 2014

Mead Schaeffer

Mead Schaeffer (1898-1980) was a Golden Age illustrator whose work evoked a lush world of drama, intrigue, and romance. His early oil canvases are reminiscent of N.C. Wyeth, Dean Cornwell, and his teacher, Harvey Dunn, which makes him a grand student of Howard Pyle.

In his paintings for the 1928 edition of The Count of Monte Cristo, he distinguished himself with his carefully composed shapes of tonal values, his handling of light, and his treatment of color.

In his long career, his style evolved with the times, becoming more photographic and more concerned with contemporary themes. He was good friends with Norman Rockwell, who lived in the same town of Arlington, Vermont. 

He was active during World War II as a war correspondent, and several of his 46 Saturday Evening Post covers showed men in uniform.

Schaeffer will be one of the artists featured in an upcoming exhibition of "Harvey Dunn and His Students," at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, November 7, 2014 through May 30, 2015. Works by Dunn's students include Dean Cornwell, Harold von Schmidt, Saul Tepper, John Clymer, Lyman Anderson, and James E. Allen. More info from the Rockwell Museum here.

More good news for Schaeffer-o-philes is that the current issue of Illustration magazine has a feature on Schaeffer with 57 color reproductions, along with a biography.

Schaeffer is featured in one of the chapters in the book Masters of American Illustration: 41 Illustrators and How They Worked by Fred Taraba


Rich said...

Great illustrations by a great illustrator, thanks.

"Several of his 46 Saturday Evening Post covers showed men in uniform". The uniform is well rendered here, but I was still more impressed by those giant overarching leaves in the overall composition, and also by the little jagged ones in the foreground, almost looking like Cannabis.

Dash Courageous said...

I have that issue of illustration, and I believe that he was too old at the time to enlist in WWII. Quote, "At the break of WWII both Schaeffer and Rockwell were too old to enlist." Just a correction. Great magazine. :)

James Gurney said...

Dash, you're right, but I don't think I said he enlisted. He served the Armed Services as an illustrator in other ways.

Rich said...

The "man in uniform" depicted here may be from DEA..

. I take my hat and coat...