Archive for the ‘lawson wood’ Category

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Illustration: Lawson Wood- The Monkey Painter

Lawson Wood's Monkeys

Lawson WoodLawson WoodLawson Wood is one of the most unusual artists of the golden age of magazine illustration, largely because of the subject he chose to illustrate- monkeys… well, to be scientifically accurate, most of them are apes, but to a cartoonist, a monkey is a monkey.

Wood was born in London in 1878 to a family already well outfitted with artists. He developed his skills swiftly, and by age 18 he was a published illustrator. By the early years of the 20th century, he was established as an artist adept at both "straight" subjects and humorous fantasy. His images of cave men and dinosaurs were particularly popular in England, but the paintings that brought him fame in America were his monkeys…

Lawson Wood's Monkeys

This album was brought to us to digitize by archive supporter, Mike Fontanelli, and it gives you a good idea of how much Wood got out of his silly subject matter. Wood’s Gran’pop Monkey and friends graced the cover of many issues of Colliers, and there was even talk of adapting the characters to star in a series of animated cartoons. Ub Iwerks was slated to produce the series, but the outbreak of war and the closing of Iwerks’ studio nipped the idea in the bud. However, Wood understood the value of merchandising early on; he even headed up his own toy manufacturing firm, and he died a very wealthy man in 1957.

Some people can’t get past the "kitsch factor" of Wood’s illustrations. But even those who hate his work have to grudgingly admit that he had wonderful painting technique. Love him or hate him, here is Lawson Wood…

Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Mike Fontanelli recently brought by a big stack of vintage Colliers magazines with Wood covers for us to scan as well. Check these babies out!

Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys

The other day, I was surfing blogs and I came across a post that popped my eyes on Will Finn’s blog, Small Room. It featured scans of a fabulous Wartime era calendar by Wood from Will’s collection. I dropped him a note and he generously brought it by for us to scan. Here are a few samples…

Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys

There are more images from this great calendar in Will’s article on Lawson Wood. If you haven’t bookmarked Will’s page yet, you should. Where else are you going to find inspiration and insight like the stuff on Will Finn’s Small Room?

For more info, see Bud Plant’s terrific Lawson Wood Bio. Many thanks to Will Finn and Mike Fontanelli for their generous support of this project.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

IllustrationIllustration

This posting is part of a series of articles comprising an online exhibit spotlighting Illustration.

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

Biography: Lawson Wood

This posting is a stub. You can contribute to this entry by providing information through the comments link at the bottom of this post. Please organize your information following the main category headers below….

Birth/Death

Birth: August 23 1878
Death: October 26 1957

Occupation/Title

illustrator and designer

Bio Summary

He was the grandson of the architectural artist L.J. Wood RI and eldest son of the landscape painter Pinhorn Wood. In 1896 he joined the staff of periodical publisher C. Arthur Pearson Ltd. at the age of eighteen. He worked there for six years where he met his future wife, Charlotte Forge whom he married in 1902. At age 24 he pursued a freelance career and also illustrated several books, including The Invaders by Louis Tracy in 1901 for Pearson. He gained immense popularity with his humorous drawings of comic policemen, dinosaurs, prehistoric and Stone Age characters. Towards the end of his life he lived as something of a recluse in a 15th century medieval manor house in the heart of Sussex.

Early Life/Family

He was born to a family in which watercolor painting had been a tradition for two generations. He met his wife, Charlotte Forge at his first job on the staff of periodical publisher C. Arthur Pearson.

Education/Training

He studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, Heatherley’s School of Fine Art and attended classes at Frank Calderon’s School of Animal Painting.

Career Outline

In 1896 he joined the staff of periodical publisher C. Arthur Pearson Ltd. Six years later he pursued a freelance career which proved extremely successful. He was published in some of the most prestigeous magazines of the day and illustrated a number of books as well. He also served as an officer in the Kite Balloon Wing of the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War. Once peace returned Wood set up a factory producing “The Lawson Woodies”,simple wooden toys of animals, birds and humans to his own designs.

Comments On Style

Lawson Wood had a very humorous, colorful style that was always technically superb and very collectable today.

Influences

Tom Browne, a fellow member of the London Sketch Club was a good friend and influence on Lawson.

Personality

During the First World War Lawson engaged in one of the war’s most dangerous tasks- plane spotting from a balloon which he undertook with gallantry.

Anecdotes

Lawson possessed a great love of animals and set up his own animal sanctuary for aged creatures.

Miscellaneous

Filmography

Honors

He was awarded a fellowship of the Royal Zoological Society for his active work with animals and their welfare.

Related Links

http://www.animationarchive.org/2009/03/illustration-lawson-wood-monkey-painter.html
http://www.animationresources.org/2007/08/illustration-more-from-monkey-man.html
http://www.bpib.com/illustra2/lwood.htm

Bibliographic References

Jayne Felicity Smith of Guggenheim Pictorials
BIO-AAA-563

Contributors To This Listing

To make additions or corrections to this listing, please click on COMMENTS below…