The Art of Perry Peterson


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The Art of Perry Peterson by Daniel Zimmer

Hardcover – The Illustrated Press – 2023 – 224 pages

While illustrator Perry Peterson is largely forgotten today, for fans of vintage illustration his work lives on. During his career he produced hundreds of illustrations for magazines like the Saturday Evening PostAmerican Magazine, CosmopolitanCollier’s, and many more.

His untimely death at the age of 50 in 1958 was a tragedy, and to some extent coincided with the decline of illustration itself at the start of the 19060s. Color photography — rather than beautiful paintings — began appearing regularly on the covers of most national magazines, and by 1963 even the venerable Saturday Evening Post, known for thousands of illustrated covers, left Norman Rockwell and his colleagues behind to focus exclusively on photographic covers. Illustration was suddenly old fashioned. While you could still find it on paperback book covers, in men’s adventure magazines, or comic books, it was no longer the cultural force it had been for so many years.

During his career, Perry was a master of the difficult mediums of gouache and casein. His bold brushstrokes, vibrant color sense, eye for modern fashions, and confident draftsmanship made him one of the very top illustrators of his day. His paintings even now continue to radiate a thrilling life and energy that make them feel fresh and alive.

This book celebrates Perry Peterson;s work with an abundanty showcase of illustrations from his over two decades of professional illustration.


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