Searching for some images this morning, I stumbled upon this fun Home Brew Alphabet, created by recent home brew practitioner John, who started a blog — the Home Brew Manual. He illustrated each letter of the alphabet for an aspect of homebrewing. It would make a great addition as a framed print in a kid’s room, though probably the child of a brewer or beer lover.
Today’s art is a cartoon by Barbara Shermund, who contributed regularly to the New York, Esquire and other high profile magazines. In fact, she did 597 cartoons that appeared inside the New Yorker and 8 covers, too. This unnamed cartoon was created in 1945, May 24 to be exact, and this is a color film copy transparency that’s housed at the Library of Congress, in the Prints and Photographs Division. It was published in the January 1946 issue of Esquire. A bunch of socialite types sit around listening to what appears to be a classical pianist. Who knows what the audience is drinking, if anything, but the pianist has a bottle of beer sitting on the edge of the piano, along with a glass full of beer.
Sacramento’s Crocker Art Museum has the following short biography of Shermund.
Painter, illustrator, etcher, cartoonist. Born in San Francisco, CA on June 26, 1899. Shermund studied at the CSFA. As a contributor to the New Yorker and Esquire, she spent most of her career in NYC. She died in September 1978 in Monmouth County, NJ.
Born in San Francisco in 1899 to artistic parents (her father was an architect), Ms. Shermund studied at The California School of Fine Arts before heading east, at the age of twenty-six, to New York. She told Colliers that her initial visit east became permanent “after she had eaten up her return fare.” In June of that very year, she made her debut at the four month old New Yorker with a cover of a young woman sporting a hip hairdo, eyes closed, resting her arm over a railing, against a black sky peppered with stars. In a year’s time her cartoons, many if not most of which were written by her, were appearing in nearly every issue of the magazine.
And below is another drinking-related cartoon she did for the New Yorker in 1938.
Since I just returned from England and the Great British Beer Festival I thought it made sense that today’s work of art is decidedly British. It’s a humorous work entitled Nine Pints of the Law by famed illustrator Lawson Wood.
One website describes the painting like this:
World-worn and weary after a hard day’s work, these British bobbies still have the strength to heave a hefty pint of ale. Artist Lawson Wood takes a lighthearted look at his country’s comical constables in characteristically British style.
And here’s a brief overview of Wood, according to one biography:
Clarence Lawson Wood (1878 – 1957) was born at Highgate, the grandson of the landscape painter L J Wood. He studied at the Slade School and at Heatherley’s and was the chief artist on the staff of C Arthur Pearson Ltd for a number of years. He served in the Kite Balloon Wing of the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War.
Wood’s work is usually in ink and watercolour and most of it is humorous in style and content and he was a member of the London Sketch Club. His repertoire of characters includes policemen, army officers, Stone Age people with dinosaurs and, most popularly, the orang-utan, Gran’pop, introduced in the 1930s.
Gran’pop appeared weekly in the Sketch for a number of years and his fame translated to the US, where Wood prepared at least four animated cartoons for production in Hollywood.
Lawson Wood, as he signed his work, retired from the world of illustration and lived in Kent in seclusion until he died at the age of 79.