New York Arts - Cultural Workshop

Society of Illustrators

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Lecture Series

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. . . a rare and exciting opportunity to interact with some of the most successful and respected illustrators of our time.

Society of Illustrators
128 East 63rd Street
at Lexington Avenue
NYC 10021

Call S.I. at:
Phone: 212-838-2560
Fax: 212-838-2561



The Society of Illustrators
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Illustration Richard Clark
© Richard Clark
The Three Johns

Call for Current Schedules for Figure Drawing Sessions and Lecture Series . . . a rare and exciting opportunity to interact with some of the most successful and respected illustrators of our time.

Figure Drawing Sessions

Email the Society of Illustrators at or
Victor Juhasz. Specify it's an update for sketch mailing list.

We also invite those of you who enjoy these sessions but who are not members of the Society to strongly consider being a part of this great community of graphic artists by becoming a member.

About the Society of Illustrators
1901 to the Present

On February 1, 1901, a group of nine artists and one advising businessman founded the Society with thsi credo: "The object of the Society shall be to promote generally the art of illustration and to hold exhibitions from time to time." The first monthly dinners were attended by such prominent illustrators as Howard Pyle, Maxfield Parrish, N.C. Wyeth, Charles Dana Gibson, Frederick Remington, Montgomery Flagg, Howard Chandler Christy, and special guests like Mark Twain.

During the WWI years, Society Members worked through the Division of Pictorial P. creating many original poster designs. Eight members, Commissioned Captains in the Engineers were sent to France to sketch the war. After the war, the Society operated the School for Disabled Soldiers. Member shows continue at prominent galleries.

In 1920, the Society was incorporated and women became full members. The 20s and 30s were the heydays of the Illustrator's Shows. These theatrical skits featured the artists and their models as actors, songwriters, set performers and painters. Professional talent such as the Cotton Club Band and Jimmy Durante also performed. Through member, Watson Barrett, the Illustrator's Show of 1925 was held at the Shubert Theatre and the Schuberts purchased the rights to the skits for their Broadway production of "Artists and Models." In time, those funds allowed the Society to acquire its present headquarters.

In August 1939, the Society moved to its present location, an 1875 carriage house, at 128 East 63rd Street. Norman Rockwell's Dover Coach became the backdrop for the bar on the fourth floor. Today, this painting hangs in the Members' Dining Room.

Another war, and again the Society contributed to the effort with a massive campaign of posters; illustrations and visits to veteran's hospitals to sketch the wounded. These pictures were sent to families and helped to boost morale. The Illustrator's Jazz Band was formed to entertain the wounded.

In 1946, a welfare fund for indigent artists was established. In 1948, the joint Ethics Committee developed the first Code of Fair Practice. Lecures and Demonstrations filled the house during these early years.

In 1954, the U.S. Air Force began sending members around the world to dcument its activites. The program continues today and thousands of paintings by Society members have been contributed to the collection over the years. A similar program is now in place for the U.S. Coast Guard with yearly exhibitions and dinners held at Society headquarters.

The first scholarship fund was established in the early 50s and, in 1959, Norman Rockwell became the first member of the Hall of Fame. That same year, The First Annual Exhibition juried by Bob Peak, Bradbury Thompson and Stevan Dohanos, among others opened with 350 original works of art and the first Illustrator's Annual.

Other notable events at the Society were the 1969 filming of "Loving" with George Segal portraying a frustrated illustrator (proceeds from this filming were used to renovate and modernize the Gallery); the "Anti-War Show in 1972; the 75th anniversary in 1976 - Homage of Howard Pyle, father of American Iillustration and the Bicentennial Show at The New York Historical Society with over 1,000 works. 1981 saw the establishment of the Museum of American Illustration. Today the museum possesses 1500 works of art by such legendary artists as Rockwell, Pyle, Wyeth, Kent, Peak, Fuchs, and Brad Holland.

Our involvement in Illustration, contribution to community service and student scholarship, annual exhibition and recognition of the greats in the field of illustration, welfare fund and stand on legal issues, sketch classes, lecture series, and social gatherings prove our concern and commitmentto support the field of illustration - past, present and future.

Critical Dialogue in the Visual Arts
at the Society of Illustrators

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