Prefeminist Artist Of The Month: Coby Whitmore!

February is the month of romance, thanks to Valentine's Day, and when I'm searching for a good illustration to say "romance", the artist I start with is Coby Whitmore.  No one else captures the varieties and nuances of female expression, not to mention the subtleties of female posture.  And when it comes to meaningful art about the interplay of romance, emotion, and passion between a couple, Whitmore nails it.

From the Wiki:

Early life and career

Coby Whitmore was born in Dayton, Ohio, the son of Maxwell Coburn Whitmore Sr. and Charlotte Bosler, and attended the Dayton Art Institute. Following an apprenticeship with the "Sundblom Circle" of Chicago, Illinois, illustrator Haddon Sundblom, Whitmore joined the Charles E. Cooper Studio, on West 57th Street in New York City, in 1943. There he illustrated for leading magazines of the day and did other commercial art.

Whitmore and Jon Whitcomb were two of the top illustrators at Cooper, which in the 1940s and 1950s "monopolized the ladies' magazines like McCall's, Ladies Home Journal, and Good Housekeeping with postwar images of the ideal white American family centered around pretty, middle-class, female consumers living happily in new kitchens, new houses, driving new cars, living with handsome husbands, adorable children, and cute dogs".

Later life and career

Additionally, Whitmore, by then living in Briarcliff Manor, New York, teamed with former World War II fighter pilot John Fitch, an imported car dealer in White Plains, New York, to design and race sports cars in the 1950s and 1960s.

Whitmore died in Hilton Head, South Carolina, in 1988 at age 75.


Whitmore's work influenced such comic-book artists as John Buscema, John Romita, Sr., and Phil Noto. Glen Murakami, producer of the 2000s Teen Titans animated series on Cartoon Network, cited Whitmore and fellow illustrator Bob Peak as "big influences on the loose, painterly style we have been using for the backgrounds".

1 comment:

  1. Why does the chick in the orange coat have a man-shaped growth on her back?