Saturday, November 30, 2013

Frank Snapp (1876-1927)

Son of a blacksmith, Frank Snapp was born on March 19, 1876, in Princeton, Indiana. He attended the Art Institute of Chicago and worked in Detroit, New York City, and Chicago as an illustrator of books, newspapers, and magazines. His illustrations were published in "Yours Truly" and One Hundred Other Original Drawings (Judge, 1908), The Long Arm of Mannister by E. Phillips Oppenheim (1908), Seven Keys to Baldpate by Earl Derr Biggers (1913), and other novels throughout the 1910s and 1920s. Some if not all of those were reprints from magazine and newspaper serials. Frank Snapp was a member of the Society of Illustrators from 1910 onward and was employed by the Charles Everett Johnson Studio for many years. His coworkers there included McClelland Barclay (1891-1942), Andrew Loomis (1892-1959), Harry Timmins (1887-1963), and a young Haddon Sundblom (1899-1976), who went on to fame by painting images of Santa Claus for Coca-Cola. Frank Snapp died on March 12, 1927, a week before his fifty-first birthday, and was buried in his hometown.

Indiana artist Frank Snapp worked during the Golden Age of Illustration in America when images like this one appeared weekly in newspapers and magazines. The illustration is for Maude Radford Warren's story "The Man Who Was Lost." It was printed more than a century ago, before the Great War, which abounded in images of men in military dress and women in candy-striped nurse's outfits.  
Here's a Frank Snapp illustration from an unknown source, dated 1908. The figures are a little stiff and conventional, a far cry from . . . 
This image from The Brute by Frederic Arnold Kummer (1912), dated just two years later (note "1910" in the upper right corner). The difference? The second image was obviously drawn from life, whereas the first may have been a work mostly of the imagination. Snapp won awards for his watercolors, a technique on full display here if only in black and white.  
Here is an undated watercolor or gouache painting, in color but curiously lacking in vibrancy.
I'll close with a far more colorful and accomplished work repeating the motif of the red parasol and the woman in the garden. Both are undated.
Text and captions copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley

Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from
Indiana Illustrators and Hoosier Cartoonists!
Art by Franklin Booth