Collections & Critiques
The illustrations done by John Holabird for the recent issue of the "Progressive" are excellent examples of the high degree of artistic merit which can be found periodically around Harvard without one's ever having to set foot within a museum. Holabird's cuts are hold but not obvious and strong without loss of sensitivity. The full page enclosure is a piece which would suffer but little by a comparison with George Grosz's water-color, "The Way of All Flesh" which deals with a similar theme. (Grosz's painting was exhibited in Dunster House several months ago).
The next and last issue of the "Advocate" (available within a week), contains illustrations by Howard Turner which, in certain cases, excel the characteristic finesse which his past performances have led us to expect. His drawing for "The Mother" exemplifies Turner's economy of line in relation to the idea which he desires to express. He manages, fully and with apparent case, to convey the implications and framework of the story for which his illustration is created, without confusing the reader. Turner shows imagination, a sense of coherence, and an intelligent suppression of detail in his work.
Ted Bishop's illustrations for the next issue of the "Guardian," though small, are precise and effective in no small way. They are clear, sharp, and relevant. His line portrait of Norman Thomas is a skillful and appropriately unembellished piece which reveals a certainty and dexterity that many artists would be glad to have.
There are certain obstacles as well as advantages which are peculiar to the short-story-illustrator. Howard Turner, I imagine, in order to produce a satisfactory illustration, must rely as much upon his ability to grasp the situation and circumstances of a story as upon his ability to manipulate a pencil. On the other hand, because of the necessary limits which are imposed upon the operations of an artist who is working with an article or an editorial, both Holabird and Bishop must be direct rather than subtle. Only in rare cases can the illustrator be called his own master.