Illustrators And Their Models

I recently wrote a story about the illustrator Howard Chandler Christy’s relationship with his model. Coincidentally, I stumbled across this piece from a 1938 issue of Focus, a short-lived picture magazine titled “Beautiful But Not Dumb” that begins this way:

Artist’s models are beautiful girls who must be able to do more than merely pose. But little has been said about the part they play in the studio. To find out, Focus went to eight well-known illustrators, asking them their attitude toward their models, what is required of the girls and how they are able to help. Intelligence and cooperation were considered of equal importance to beauty.



Bradshaw Crandell often tries to get the model to talk about herself to know something of her personal tastes.


James Montgomery Flagg encourages his model, Ilsa Hoffman, to suggest compositions.


Sigrid Graftstrom is the artist. She prefers one of her men friends to a professional model.


Carl Mueller find models like Beatrice Cole desirable because of her intelligence. She’s a blessing, he says.


Arthur William Brown says Cynthia Hope is the perfect blend of beauty and intelligence.


Irving Nurick prefers models like Grace Rowland, who offers criticism and suggestions.


Earle Oliver Hurst likes working with students who model to make ends meet rather than those who make it a profession.


Tom Webb directs Margaret Horan to be as graceful as a Hollywood beauty.


The Innovation Issue
For even more articles by Steven Heller, including a look at the work of 8 entrepreneurs  and the Evolution of the term “graphic designer,” be sure to pick up the June issue of Print. Plus, get an inside look at the illustration industry with professionals, agents and educators with “Dreams of Drawing.”