Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Painting the Town

The identity of the Young Man of Manhattan book jacket artist has always been something of a mystery to me; the signature in the lower right hand corner of the picture is not large or clear enough to be legible. I've seen the artist credited as Emar Williamson by an online antiquarian bookseller; but an internet search on that name doesn't return any meaningful results. Besides, Emar doesn't even sound like a real name. For a person, anyway.

Well, with the help of the good folks at the Society of Illustrators, I think we have found our man: he is none other than Edgar Franklin Wittmack. It's easy enough to see how that name could have been misread as Emar Williamson. I guess.

Wittmack did covers for The Saturday Evening Post and the adventure story pulps, but is best remembered today for the futurstic illustrations he did for magazines such as Popular Science.

This looks like an absolutely TERRIBLE idea!

The Society of Illustrators, located on East 68th Street here in Manhattan, has a wonderful museum space and is well worth a visit if you're in New York.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Greetings From Governors Island!

Today we took our bikes on the ferry over to Governors Island. Besides it being a perfectly gorgeous day for a bike ride, I wanted to get a shot of this view of lower Manhattan.

It's obvious that the artist worked from this vantage point while painting the dust jacket picture for Young Man of Manhattan

The view was easily identifiable by the presence of two New York City landmarks: the Whitehall Building (the building on the left, indicated by the pointing finger), and the Standard Oil Building (the right indicated building, partially obstructed). The tall building still under construction to the left of the Whitehall is, of course, One World Trade Center, previously referred to as The Freedom Tower. And the green-topped tower at the far right is the Bank of the Manhattan Company Building, now known as the Trump Building. It was built the year after Young Man of Manhattan was published, which explains its absence in the dust jacket painting.

I believe the gold-topped building just below Toby's right knee is the Woolworth Building, which is now obstructed.