Saturday, January 22, 2011
Anton Otto Fischer, 8 years at sea makes a better marine painter
There were a few illustrators to study under Howard Pyle in Delaware that specialized in marine work—meaning they painted a lot of ships and sea related imagery. A century ago ships were a much bigger presence in our lives, being the sole option for travel to Europe, and one to consider for travel almost anywhere from one coast to another. One of the finest marine painters to come through the Brandywine Valley was Anton Otto Fischer. (1880-1962) Fischer was German born, but came to America while in his twenties after spending almost eight years at sea. It was this kind of life experience that Pyle liked to see his students partake in, to give their pictures life, and authenticity. I'd bet it was a feature that Pyle would have embraced in Fischer. In 1910 Fischer caught a break by being paired up with Jack London, and for the next few years he often did work for London's stories.
During World War II Fischer served as an official war artist in the Coast Guard, aboard the cutter "Campbell". During a long career in illustration, Fischer worked for magazines such as Harper's Weekly, The Saturday Evening Post and Life, and was painting private commissions right up to the end.
Check the Post link above- it's a great gallery of some of Fischer's covers.
and there's a large slide show of Fischer work here, though accompanied by some music I can't seem to turn off...
and a great group at American Art Archives
I got news today that my application for full membership to the Society of Illustrators has been accepted. This organization has a rich history from deep in the Golden Age, greatly related to the kind of imagery and work I present here on VIEW. Most of the American illustrators I present here were members of the Society, and it's nothing less than an honor to be carrying on their tradition.