The Dean’s Girls

He was called by his contemporaries “The Dean of Illustrators” and, yes, he was that good.  I’m speaking, of course, of Dean Cornwell.  At the height of his illustrative powers his name was as well-known in the US as Norman Rockwell, and his work nearly as ubiquitous.  These days he’s been all but forgotten, which is a shame.  Personally I prefer his work to that of Rockwell, who tends a little too much towards silliness and pathos.

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Dean Cornwell – (Title Unknown) (1)

Dean Cornwell - (Title Unknown) (2)

Dean Cornwell – (Title Unknown) (2)

Dean Cornwell - Wartime Evacuation

Dean Cornwell – Wartime Evacuation

The following was one of illustrations Cornwell did for Bruce Barton’s “The Man of Galilee” articles. They’re some of Cornwell’s best work, in my estimation:

Dean Cornwell - The Man of Galilee (1928)

Dean Cornwell – The Man of Galilee (1928)

Now we get to his murals. The first two are the same scene–they are the full painting and a sketch for the piece (respectively) from a series of murals depicting the founding of Los Angeles, all of which are in the Lowdrick M. Cook Rotunda of the Los Angeles Public Library. In fact, there’s loads of beautiful art and architecture to be seen at the library.

Dean Cornwell - The Founding of Los Angeles (mural, LA Public Library) (1932)

Dean Cornwell – The Founding of Los Angeles (mural, LA Public Library) (1932)

Dean Cornwell - Sketch for 'The Founding of Los Angeles'

Dean Cornwell – Sketch for ‘The Founding of Los Angeles’

The images for the rest of the murals are, unfortunately, not of the best quality. I don’t know their location either.

Dean Cornwell - Air - Gold in the Sunshine

Dean Cornwell – Air – Gold in the Sunshine

Dean Cornwell - Air - Gold in the Sunshine (detail)

Dean Cornwell – Air – Gold in the Sunshine (detail)

Dean Cornwell - (Title Unknown) (4)

Dean Cornwell – (Title Unknown) (4)

Dean Cornwell - (Title Unknown) (5)

Dean Cornwell – (Title Unknown) (5)

Wikipedia: Dean Cornwell

American Art Archives: Dean Cornwell