THE LOST ARTWORK OF HOLLYWOOD is a gorgeous book from 1996 by Fred E. Basten.
Mr Basten’s dedication at the front of the book is as follows:
“This book is dedicated to the unheralded illustrators,portraitists,caricaturists and graphic artists who worked behind the scenes to create promotional visuals that drew us into the fantasy world that is the movies.”
As Mr Basten’s says, ” These visuals weren’t created for the public. They were done by the studios for the trades (industry publications ) to excite exhibitors and get them to show their movies. “
The industry publications included Variety and Hollywood Reporter,( and Film Daily which I wrote about recently).
These artists’ work were rarely credited – we may have heard of the great Hollywood photographers like Hurrell – but these artists were part of the studio’s Art Department and as such were simply part of the great advertising campaign at each studio.
Names like William Galbraith Crawford,Alberto Vargas,Ted Ireland,Jacques Kapralik.
Sadly,the author cannot identify the artists for some of the amazing pictures in the book.
This ad for Show Boat states it is ‘Version of 1936’ in case anyone would confuse it with the early version in 1929.Artist unknown.
At the end of the book, the author lists around 30 of the artists and,where possible,the films they worked on.
The period covered is from the Silents through the 1940s.