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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Coles Phillips - Illustrator

In our new house, I will have mostly exclusive use of the master bath (Jay got it during the 19 years we lived in Laramie).  It has a lot of wall space which I intend to decorate to please myself, so I can soak in my deep tub and contemplate.  I'm even opting for a stand-alone towel rack to preserve the walls for -- copies of old magazine illustrations.  I have a penchant for illustrated art, especially from the arts and crafts / art nouveau / and even art deco eras. And look at the work of Coles Phillips (1880-1927), an artist I've discovered on the Internet.

 Before there was Bev Doolittle, whose reputation lies in pinto ponies disappearing among aspen groves, there was Coles Phillips, who used negative space - actually -- to save his magazine production costs.

Phillips first worked for Life magazine (not the one we know), and presented his first "fade-away girl" on a cover in 1908.

He was Good Housekeeping's sole cover artist from 1912 through 1914.

He always worked with life models.  In 1907 he met Teresa Hyde, who became his most frequent model.  They married in 1910.

Unfortunately, he suffered from tuberculosis of the kidney and died at the relatively young age of 47 in 1927.

He had one hobby, which he'd begun when he was a boy of eight in Ohio.  He raised pigeons.
Look him up on the Internet.  He produced other wonderful illustrations for advertising and more magazine covers.


  1. They are fabulous! I especially love the woman and dog and the Good Housekeeping covers. That will be fun to decorate and enjoy your own (almost) bathroom. I have a weakness for nice soaps...

  2. Thanks for posting these! They are wonderful. I wish we could afford to pay for the labor to create art so casually these days.