Friday, November 25, 2016

Eugene Chase Cassady (1891 or 1892-1966)

Eugene Chase Cassady was born on November 21, 1891 or 1892, in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Ulysses G. and Minnie B. Cassady. Ulysses G. Cassady, also known as U.G. Cassady, was a self-taught artist, an inventor, and a manufacturer of art glass and automobile headlight glass. He worked at the Primolite Company, the Indianapolis Art Glass Company, and U.G. Cassady and Sons, "Designers and Manufacturers of Art Glass for Church, Residence and Public Buildings," all in Indianapolis. His son Eugene C. Cassady attended Manual Training High School in Indianapolis, known for its art program, under the direction of Otto Stark. Cassady entered Butler University in 1911 but left before completing his education to take up studies at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis (1910-1913). His teachers included William Forsyth, Otto Stark, and Clifton Wheeler. As an artist he called himself Chase Cassady, also E. Chase Cassady.

When war came, Cassady answered his nation's call, joining the 1st Battalion Engineers of the Indiana National Guard. He later enlisted in the U.S. Army aviation corps. On June 10, 1919, he married Edna Novella Gliem in Washington, D.C. The enumerator of the census of 1920 found Cassady and his wife living with his parents and his brother on Woodruff Place in Indianapolis. Both Ulysses and Eugene were employed as manufacturers of art glass. Both were also listed in Mary Q. Burnet's Art and Artists of Indiana (1921). And both exhibited their work in their home city. In 1922, E. Chase Cassady painted "Conference on the Limitation of Armament" for the Daughters of the American Revolution, a canvas to be hung in Memorial Hall in Washington, D.C. By 1930, Cassady was in Highland Park, New Jersey, and working as a self-employed illustrator. In his draft card of 1942, he called himself an illustrator and industrial designer. I know very little about Cassady's career as an illustrator except that he contributed to Liberty (Sept. 16, 1939) and Scribner's (as of 1925). Eugene Chase Cassady died in July 1966, presumably in or near Highland Park, New Jersey.

A poor reproduction of an illustration by Eugene Chase Cassady from Scribner's, circa 1925.

Update (July 30, 2017): A much better image showing Chase Cassady's progression from an old-fashioned to a slick, glamorous style. From the Cincinnati Inquirer, January 2, 1938.

Text copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley

Monday, November 21, 2016

George A. Shealy (1910-1988)

George Allyn Shealy was born on March 4, 1910, in Chicago, Illinois, to Otto C. Shealy, a grocer, and Katherine C. Shealy, a music teacher. By the time he was just seven weeks old, Shealy was already a Hoosier, for his family lived in the Whitley County town of Churubusco when the enumerator of the Federal census came around in April 1910.

George Shealy went to Churubusco High School, where he was in the Boys Glee Club and the school orchestra. After graduation, he matriculated at Indiana University under a scholarship (1927-1928) and was a member of the class of 1931 (although I'm not sure that he graduated from that institution). His art education consisted of three years at the Art Institute of Chicago; five summers at the Ox-Bow School of Art in Saugatuck, Michigan; and studies under the muralist John Warner Nolton (1876-1934) of Illinois.

A summary of Shealy's career, from The U.S Air Force: A Pictorial History by James J. Haggerty and Warren Reiland Smith (New York: Spartan Books, 1966):
[George A. Shealy] taught art at Todd School for Boys, Woodstock, Illinois; designed and built sets for summer theater with Orson Welles and Hilton Edwards of the Gate Theatre, Dublin; and taught at St. Ambrose College, Davenport, Iowa. He was in the Army Combat Engineers in World War II and at the request of the Office of War Information he was sent to London to be art director on publications. Shealy set up his own studio in 1950 as a free lance art director and illustrator and later became head of the Department of Art, Queens College, Charlotte, North Carolina. (p. 260)
Shealy served two years in the U.S. Army during and after the war, from January 21, 1944, to February 19, 1946. He was married to Dr. Joyce H. Shealy, a psychologist. George A. Shealy died on August 27, 1988, in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was seventy-eight years old.

"K-14 at Kimpo, Korea" by George A. Shealy.

The cover of Print: The Magazine of the Graphic Arts, June 1952 (Vol. 7, No. 3) with a cover design by Shealy, who was also credited as art director.

George Allyn Shealy and his wife, Dr. Joyce H. Shealy, circa 1962. Photo courtesy of Everett Library Special Collections, Queens University of Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina.

Original text copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley

Friday, November 18, 2016

George C. "Bob" Bales (1920-2016)

George Carson Bales, nicknamed Bob, was born on April 5, 1920, in Terre Haute, Indiana. His parents were William F. Bales (1891-1960), a farmer, and Beatrice Myer Bales (1896-1977), a farmer's wife and a postmistress at the Dana, Indiana, post office for thirty-seven years. Bob had an older brother, Jack Truitt Bales (1918-2011), who was an aviator, engineer, and real estate developer. You can read more about him on the website Find A Grave, here.

In addition to their many accomplishments on their own, the Bales brothers had connections to fame and accomplishment through their family. They are descended from Mordecai Beall (1739-?), who served in a Maryland military unit during the Revolutionary War. (Beall's son William changed the spelling of the family name.) They are also descended from Thomas White, a member of the Boston Tea Party. Hoosiers will recognize Dana, where Beatrice Bales worked as postmistress, as the hometown of war correspondent and author Ernie Pyle (1900-1945). According to Pyle's biographer, Jack and Bob Bales are the step-grandsons of Pyle's Aunt Mary Bales. (1) It was from Pyle that Bob Bales received his first set of oil paints, a Christmas gift in 1931. Pyle visited his relative Jack Bales, who called him "Uncle Shag," in the South Pacific during World War II and wrote about eating fried chicken from Indiana, canned by Aunt Mary and sent halfway around the world.

The Bales family lived in Vermillion County, the skinniest county in Indiana, when the boys were young. Both Jack and Bob matriculated at the University of Illinois, Jack to study law and Bob to study art under visiting portraitist Robert Philipp (1895-1981). (2) Bob went on to study portraiture under Will Foster (1882-1953) in Los Angeles, and under Robert Brackman (1898-1980) in New York City. (3)

Bob Bales graduated from the University of Illinois in 1941 and went into the U.S. Army. During World War II, he flew C-46s in the European Theatre. He was also qualified as a pilot and observer on B-24s. (Jack Bales was also an aviator during the war and served in the South Pacific.) Separating in December 1945, Bob studied art in Los Angeles and went to work for the Walt Disney studios on the strength of just one drawing he carried to his job interview. He worked as an illustrator on Song of the South (1946), the Little Toot and Pecos Bill segments of Melody Time (1948), and The Wind in the Willows (1949).

Bob returned to active duty in 1947 and served as a pilot in the southeast and east Asia region, deploying to the Philippines in 1950 with the 18th Fighter-Bomber Wing. In July 1950, at the start of the Korean War, he volunteered to go to the peninsula, where he helped establish a forward airfield, only to tear it down again as North Korean and Chinese forces advanced on the position. He was the only professional artist on the peninsula during that first hard winter. Using Jeep gas as paint thinner, he executed eight rapid-fire canvases, reducing his brushes to mere nubs in the process. Bob's Korean paintings were later part of a group of canvases he donated to the U.S. Air Force.

From 1952 to 1963, Bob was instrumental in the development of the U.S. Air Force art program, eventually serving as chief and retiring in 1963 as a lieutenant colonel. He joined the staff of Pepperdine University, earning a doctorate in business administration in 1971 and rising to the level of a vice-presidency within the university. He retired to Birmingham, Alabama, his wife's hometown, in 1980.

In addition to being an artist, aviator, and university administrator, Bob Bales is the author of Jet Aces of the Korean Conflict (1957), Ernie Pyle: A Hoosier Childhood (2002), and Ernie Pyle's Southwest (2003). After his death, his widow, Peggy Bales, remarked, "He lived life to the fullest like no one I ever knew." Among the other accomplishments of his long life and career: Eagle Scout, varsity wrestler, horseshoe pitcher, member of the Society of Illustrators, skin diver, and hunter. Bob Bales died on December 13, 2016, at age ninety-six.

(1) See The Story of Ernie Pyle by Lee G. Miller (New York: The Viking Press, 1950), p. 394.
(2) Born Moses Solomon Philipp, the artist was known as Robert in his youth. He later changed his name legally. George Carson Bales--with no Robert in sight--is nicknamed Bob. Could he have followed the example of his famous teacher?
(3) Philipp and Brackman both painted portraits of movie stars. I wonder if those connections helped Bob Bales break into moviemaking as an artist at the Walt Disney studios.

"USAF Friends Near K-9, Korea" by George C. Bales. K-9 was near the coast in far southern South Korea. I was stationed in the central part of the peninsula, south of Seoul, more than forty years later. Despite the passage of those four decades and more, I can say that this doesn't look very much different from the place where I served.

Revised and updated on December 6, 2019.
Text and captions copyright 2016, 2019 Terence E. Hanley

Monday, November 14, 2016

Leroy D. Moon (1894-1941)

I have fallen behind in my writing and owe you the second part of an article on Lawrence Beall Smith. In the interest of catching up, I'll offer the biography of an artist named Moon on the night of a super moon.

Leroy Dow Moon was born on May 13, 1894, in Indianapolis, Indiana. His father was Melville Lucas (possibly Lucas Melville) Moon (1857-1927), a Morgan County native and at various times a clerk in a railroad office and a merchant in a meat market. His mother was Rachel or Rachael Thornburg Moon. Melville and Rachel Moon were married on October 2, 1889, at the United Methodist Church in Indianapolis. They had at least three children, Marie (b. Oct. 1890), Inez (b. ca. 1893), and Leroy D. (possibly Lorenzo D., after his paternal grandfather, b. May 13, 1894).

Leroy Moon attended Manual High School in Indianapolis. On April 23, 1917, less than three weeks after the United States had declared war on Germany, he enlisted in the Army National Guard. He served in Battery A of the 150th Field Artillery, a unit within the 42nd Infantry, the famed Rainbow Division that fought in France during the Great War.

Moon separated from the Army on May 9, 1919. From October 1920 into at least September 1921, he attended the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis. He also studied art in Chicago. The 1922 Indianapolis city directory listed him as a commercial artist with a residence at 2402 North Talbott Street (his father's house). In 1924, he was probably in Evansville, Indiana, and working for The Trade Extension Bureau as the art director of its commercial art department. By the 1930s, Moon had returned to the city of his birth. There he worked for the Indianapolis Star at various times.

Leroy Moon, who signed his name "Lee Moon," was married twice, first to Vesta V. Boulden, on December 21, 1914. (He gave his birth year as 1893, thus making himself twenty-one years old rather than twenty.) That marriage ended by the end of the decade. On November 1, 1922, Moon married Mary Hazel May in Marion County, Indiana, presumably in Indianapolis. As of the 1940 census, Moon was lodging (alone) at 323 North Delaware Street in Indianapolis and working as a freelance commercial artist. A year later, on January 26, 1941, he died in Los Angeles, according to his obituary, "after a long illness." He was forty-five years old. The body of Leroy D. Moon was returned to Indianapolis for burial and lies at rest in Crown Hill Cemetery.

A clipping from The Trade Extension Bureau Monthly Service Bulletin showing a photograph of art director Leroy D. Moon (June 1924, p. 14).

A drawing by Lee Moon asking readers of the Indianapolis Star to "Please Help!" after the flood of 1937. Unfortunately, this is the only example I have of Moon's art.

Text and captions copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley