Life magazine, April 7, 1921
Good Housekeeping, August 1912
Good Housekeeping, October 1912
Good Housekeeping, November 1912
Good Housekeeping, June 1913
Good Housekeeping, 1915
Good Housekeeping, January 1916
Good Housekeeping, October 1916
Ladies Home Journal, 1924
Clarence Coles Phillips (1880-1927) was an American illustrator and a contemporary of Charles Dana Gibson. After graduating from Kenyon College in his home state of Ohio in 1904, Phillips moved to Manhattan and focused on pursuing a career as an artist. His only formal artistic training was three months of art classes at the Chase School of Art and afterwards he opened his own advertising agency. In 1907, Phillips was hired by J.A. Mitchell, the publisher of Life magazine and had a life-long association with the company.
Good Housekeeping made Phillips their sole cover artist from 1912-1914 and he also produced ads for the Overland Automobile Company, Oneida Community Flatware and Holeproof Hosiery. Back in November 2012, one of my Fashion Friday posts featured the hosiery ads.
Regarding Phillips “fadeaway girls”, here’s a description of his painting technique from Wikipedia: “The work of Phillips quickly became popular with the Life readers. In May 1908, he created a cover for the magazine that featured his first “fadeaway girl” design with a figure whose clothing matched, and disappeared into, the background. Phillips developed this idea in many subsequent covers. In the 1910 example of his work displayed below, portions of the figure’s skirt merge seamlessly with the background, yet the edge of the skirt remains easily defined by the viewer.”
Life magazine cover from January 27, 1910 entitled “Know all men by these presents.” Cover illustration shows a woman seated on the floor next to a table whose surface is covered with gifts. Above gifts from various gentlemen callers are displayed: a photograph, a corkscrew, a box, a purse, a fan and the book “Of the imitation of Christ.” The name of the illustration is a play on a common introduction to a legal or official document, calling on all who see the document to take notice of its contents or subject matter
“Phillips’ use of negative space allowed the viewer to “fill-in” the image; it also reduced printing costs for the magazine, as “the novelty of the technique and the striking design qualities masked the fact that Life was getting by with single color or two-color covers in a day when full-color covers were de rigueur for the better magazines”. Phillips worked in watercolor and always painted from life; according to his biographer, Michael Schau, “he refused to work from photographs or to use the pantograph”.
These illustrations are so colorful and full of details. I can’t decide which one is my favorite, probably the maid looking through the keyhole.