When I purchased P&H, I discovered an old file cabinet containing the agencies scrap files going back to the 1920′s. The files contained reference photos taken for the staff illustrators, advertisements, and samples of illustrators the agency admired. Over the coming weeks I will post these samples, some bio info, and my commentary. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed discovering them.
California Beaches. Southern Pacific Railroad
MAURICE LOGAN (1886-1977)
There are 2 sides of Maurice Logan, The illustrator, and the fine artist. What I like about his work is his ability to, at times, combine these 2 worlds. You can often see in his commercial work the loose, impressionistic brush stroke of a fine artist and his non-commercial work shows what a keen an eye for design and composition he had.—Bruce Hettema
By 1915, Maurie Logan was a leading illustrator in San Francisco. His specialty was creating painted images on demand for advertising work. Someone else would then usually do the lettering and layout work. His expertise with the landscape and the figure made him very versatile. There were few ad agencies at that time. Some of his clients were railroads such as Southern Pacific and Canadian Pacific which wanted landscape travel advertisements.
Scrap illustration cut from travel brochure
He did a number of landscape Sunset Magazine covers in the 1920s and 1930s as well. In 1935 Logan founded the commercial art business of Logan, Staniford, and Cox (competitors of P&H). Their accounts included such names as Dole, Southern Pacific, Caterpillar, Lucky Lager Beer, and Ghirardelli Chocolate.
Caterpillar Tractor brochure
Lake Tahoe Travel Brochure, Southern Pacific Railroad
Postcard: Lake Apache Lake, Southern Pacific Railroad
Around this time he was hired and sent to Africa as preparation for painting dioramas of Africa at the Los Angeles Museum of History and later at the San Francisco Academy of Science.**
He also was a member of one of the most artistically rebellious art groups to emerge in California during the 20th century. The group became known as the “Society of Six” and their rebellion took the form of producing mostly boldly colored impressionistic paintings and watercolors. The Society of six was created in 1917 and consisted of Selden Connor Gile, Maurice Logan, William H. Clapp, August F. Gay, Bernard von Eichman, and Louis Siegriest. These artists worked primarily in Northern California and their art experimentation was not generally appreciated by contemporary art critics. In an interesting philosophical turn-around he reacted to the modernism of contemporary art and late in life joined the anti-modernist Society for Sanity in Art.*
* Chelette, Iona M. California Grandeur and Genre. Palm Springs: Palm Spring Desert Museum, 1991.
** Maurice Logan, Artist and Designer by Marvin A. Schenck