fredag 24 januari 2014

Once in a Blue Moon

When Gustaf Tenggren first arrived in USA in autumn of 1920 he started off in Cleveland, OH. But as his commissions got more frequent and his wages rose, he decided to try out the competition in the main media center, New York, NY. In 1923 he went there and already the first year he had seven book illustration commissions. But he also got into advertising illustration, and produced spectacular ads for a number of large campaigns. One of the most memorable was the Blue Moon Silk Stockings which was introduced in 1925 by Largman Gray Company. Their slogan was "Longer wear with every pair".
Blue Moon Silk Stockings, first published in 1925.
The design with the girl on the moon was extremely popular and was used for boxes, posters magazine ads and even an adhesive transfer to put on your car. This girl was maybe one of the first pin-up girls, before the concept was even invented. It is still one of the most popular Art Deco designs to be copied to numerous bric-a-brac items for sale in tourist shops and on the Internet. Too bad no one knows the name of the artist nowadays.
A scene from Atlantic City, 1927. The Blue Moon girl is mirrored on
the big sign on the house but the exposure is ultimate.

tisdag 14 januari 2014

Tenggren goes comics

Here's another finding  from the vault of Kerlan Collections in Minneapolis: a comic strip by Gustaf Tenggren! It covers some thirty pages and I have a vague memory from seeing this in some old clipping from The New York World Magazine. Any information on the origin of this comic story is welcome!
Page 12 from an unidentified comic story by Gustaf Tenggren.
Kerlan collection of the University of Minnesota Libraries
with permissions from the Archives and Special Collections.
It's not a proposal or a dummy, since every page is thoroughly sketched and cleaned up in ink, although the text is left out for the paper to fill in. The cartoon is a fairy tale kind of story about a selfish king. It's probably made in the late twenties, when Tenggren had some other commissions for The New York World Sunday Magazine. It resembles the style in Mother Goose Book from 1928 or Seldom and the Golden Cheese form 1933. Just imagine what stories there might be, had he made more of these.