Sunday, October 24, 2010

Roy Frederic Heinrich (1881-1943)

Roy Frederic Heinrich was born on April 6, 1881, in Goshen, Indiana, and grew up in New York State. He studied at the Connecticut Art Students League under Charles Noel Flagg and Robert Bolling Brandegee and landed his first job as an artist with a Sunday newspaper. In 1910 and from a studio in Detroit, Heinrich began illustrating automobile advertisements for Graham-Paige, Hudson, Packard, Ford, Chevrolet, Buick, Dodge, Chrysler, and Cadillac, making him among the earliest artists in his field. He worked for other advertising clients as well, including General Electric, Zenith Carburetor Company, and Guardian Trust Company. Heinrich enjoyed most a series of one hundred historical illustrations of life in Vermont, created for and published in book form by the National Life Insurance Company of Montpelier. These drawings went on display in New York and New England and were a highlight of the Vermont building at the New York World’s Fair in 1939-1940. Among his memberships were the Society of Illustrators and the Art Directors Club. Heinrich and his wife, Ruth L. Heinrich, were married in 1929. Heinrich died in 1943, probably in New York City.


Roy Frederic Heinrich may have created straightforward black-and-white drawings of automobiles, as this advertisement for General Motors trucks shows. . .

but he was no stranger to color, the conceptual approach, or depictions of the human form either.

Heinrich worked during the heyday of art deco advertising and illustration. You would hardly guess that this is an ad for Holland Vaporaire Heating.

An effective two-color advertisement combining a mythological figure and modern technology, an art deco image and up-to-date advertising copy.


Copyright 2010 Terence E. Hanley

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