09-24-2010 09-24-2010
Skinner Auctions
Skinner Auctions Boston MA
2517B Boston
September 24, 2010 12:00PMCalender

Dean Cornwell (American, 1892-1960) Portrait of a Young Woman Reading

Auction: American & European Works of Art - 2517B Location: Boston Date / Time: September 24, 2010 12:00PM


Dean Cornwell (American, 1892-1960)

Portrait of a Young Woman Reading
Initialed and dated "DC/24 l.l.
Oil on canvas, 36 x 30 in. (91.4 x 76.2 cm), framed.
Condition: Small punctures, subtle canvas deformations, surface grime, abrasions, craquelure.

N.B. Dean Cornwell was a leading illustrator and muralist active in the first half of the 20th Century. Known as the 'Dean of Illustrators,' Cornwell created over 1,000 illustrations for poems, stories, and novels, including works by Pearl Buck, Ernest Hemingway, and Somerset Maugham. His illustrations appeared in serialized fiction and magazines such a Red Book and the Saturday Evening Post, as well as in major newspapers and in the Hearst Publications. He illustrated advertisements for blue chip companies such as Seagrams, Coca-Cola and General Motors, and created patriotic posters during the Second World War. Early in his career, Cornwell was influenced by Harvey Dunn, his instructor at the Art Students League, who introduced Cornwell to the teachings Howard Pyle and the Brandywine School of Illustration. Cornwell was passionate about his art, often working seven days a week and creating many studies for his finished pieces.

In 1929, Cornwell entered a new phase of his career when he apprenticed himself to Frank Brangwyn in England to learn the art of mural painting. He went on to earn commissions for many significant mural projects.

Described as 'A Painter who Illustrates and an Illustrator who Paints,' (1) Dean Cornwell believed in the fusion of fine and commercial art. He was both a respected artist and teacher, who reflected changing American taste and culture as well as the art of his era.

(1)Heart's International Magazine, caption beneath a portrait of Dean Cornwell drawn by James Montgomery Flagg, "A Painter Who Illustrates And An Illustrator Who Paints,' 1923.

Estimate $6,000-8,000

Two punctures center left, one T shaped measuring 1 x 1/2 in., one L-shpaed measuring 1/2 x 1/8 in., an abrasion with paint loss lower center measuring 1/2 in., a dimple with paint loss lower center. Mild canvas deformation in u.r. quadrant.


Dean Cornwell, Somerset Maugham, Reading, leading illustrator, B. Dean Cornwell, Pearl Buck, Dean, Ernest Hemingway, the Saturday Evening Post, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Seagrams, Art Students League, Brandywine School of Illustration, Harvey Dunn, Howard Pyle, instructor, Frank Brangwyn, United Kingdom, respected artist and teacher, Illustrates And An Illustrator, James Montgomery Flagg