The Art of Russell Patterson | wasted food | Scoop.it

Russell Patterson (December 26, 1893 – March 17, 1977) was a celebrated and prolific American cartoonist, illustrator and scenic designer. Patterson’s art decomagazine illustrations helped develop and promote the idea of the 1920s and 1930s fashion style known as the flapper.

Russell H. Patterson was born in Omaha, Nebraska. Although he claimed he knew at age 17 that he wanted to be a magazine cover artist, he took a circuitous route to his ultimate success in that field. His family left his hometown of Omaha and settled in Montreal when he was still a boy. He studied architecture briefly atMcGill University, then became an undistinguished cartoonist for some newspapers in Montreal, contributing Pierre et Pierrette to La Patrie. Rejected by the Canadian army at the start of World War I, he moved to Chicago to become a catalog illustrator. His early career included interior design for department stores likeCarson, Pirie, Scott & Company and Marshall Field.

A trip to Paris gave him the opportunity to paint and attend life-drawing classes. However, it also left him in debt, and so he reluctantly returned to the dull work of advertising art in Chicago.

From 1916 to 1919, he intermittently attended the Art Institute of Chicago. From 1922 to 1925, Patterson, as Charles N. Landon had done before, distributed amail-order art instruction course. Consisting of 20 lessons, it was called "The Last Word in Humorous Illustrations" (despite the finality of that title, he also later contributed to the instruction books of the Art Instruction Schools).

In 1924, Patterson made an attempt to carve out a living as a fine artist. Traveling to the Southwest with his paintings, however, he found the art galleries indifferent to his work


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