Saturday, August 31, 2013

Robert W. Lahr (1890-1970)

Robert Wadsworth Lahr was born on February 18, 1890, in Evansville, Indiana. He received his education at the Art Students League in New York City and at the Art Institute of Chicago. Lahr served as director of the School of Fine and Applied Arts at James Milliken University in Decatur, Illinois. He was also a college professor in Pullman, Washington, perhaps at Washington State College (now University). The early 1940s found Lahr back in the city of his birth. He died there in January 1970.

I have found just one illustration credit for Robert W. Lahr, A Book of Giant Stories compiled by Kathleen Adams and Frances Elizabeth Atchinson, from 1926. The compilers wrote their introduction from Evansville. Unfortunately neither is listed in Indiana Books and Their Authors.

An illustration for "Mollie Whuppie" from A Book of Giant Stories.

And one for "The Selfish Giant" from the same book.
Text and captions copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley

Mac Heaton (1925-2002)

I would like to observe two anniversaries by remembering Indiana illustrator Mac Heaton. Tomorrow, September 1, 2013, is the seventy-fourth anniversary of the beginning of World War II. Next month, on September 20 through 23, the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue University will celebrate its centennial.

Malcolm C. "Mac" Heaton was born on June 29, 1925. As a child he lived in Bloomfield, Indiana, which may have been his place of birth. When he was in high school, Heaton received a few lessons from a commercial artist in his hometown. Otherwise he was mostly self taught. Heaton graduated from Bloomfield High School and went to work for the Indiana Department of Conservation in June 1945. Six months later he had his first illustrations printed in Outdoor Indiana magazine. His illustrations also appeared in a magazine published by Purdue University under the guidance of Howard Michaud, a longtime professor of forestry.

Eventually Mac Heaton worked his way up to be art director at the Indiana Department of Conservation, now the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. His illustrations appeared in Outdoor Indiana for many years. He also created designs for stamps and postcards, and he illustrated Escape from Corregidor by Edgar Whitcomb (1958), who later became governor. In his book, Gov. Whitcomb recounted the story of his escape from captivity during World War II. Unfortunately I don't have an image of Heaton's artwork for the governor's book.

Malcolm Heaton was married to Naomi Noel, a school teacher, in 1948. He died on January 1, 2002. She passed away nearly six years later. They are buried together in Carmel, Indiana.

Mac Heaton specialized in wildlife art. Here is his design for the Indiana Gamebird Habitat Stamp for 1980. It's worth noting that Heaton's home county, Greene County, passed one of the first conservation laws in Indiana, making it illegal to poison fish. The year was 1849.
A postcard design by Mac Heaton of Chief Simon Pokagon (1830-1899) of the  Potawatomi  tribe.
Text and captions copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley