Was there anyone, male or female, who could draw both people and their cars this well?
Click on all the following images to enlarge them.
"Won't you let us give you a lift?" from Harper's Monthly Magazine for August 1911
The same automobile. "It Stood for Country in the Midst of Town" from Harper's Monthly Magazine for August 1911
"Now, Honey, you tell them what you told me." from Harper's Monthly Magazine for August 1911
These illustrations are from a series of stories by Margaret Cameron and her characters, the Dollivers. They were from "The Golden Rule Dollivers."
Another illustration for The Dollivers, circa 1912 in Harper's Monthly Magazine.
" 'Select a young lady, Master Ransom,' " chirped Monsieur Boncourt in passing." From "The Militant Moment of Lou Grey," by Madge Jenison, in Harper's Monthly Magazine for November 1915.
" 'Your Country Needs You,' said I," from "Simeon Small, Militarist," in Harper's Monthly Magazine for May 1918.
"The Battle Ebbed and Flowed." From the same story, author unknown to me.
"Even the Liberty rug went for three-fifty. It had been marked a thousand dollars." From "White Elephants," author unknown to me, in Harper's Monthly Magazine for July 1918.
The next three illustrations are from three instalments of "Seeing France with Uncle John," by Anne Warner, which appeared in Century Magazine for September, October, and November 1906. Click on images to enlarge them.
Note the accurate detail of the bikes and carriage that Preston draws. Not only was she terrific in capturing facial expressions and the actions of individuals, but she could draw inanimate objects with as much skill. In the next post I'll show you how well she did automobiles of the period.
"Mrs. Sparling spent two glorious days getting the cottage ready," from Scribner's Monthly Magazine for November 1907. Great handling of carbon pencil and wash. Click on image to enlarge.
Back to pen-and-ink with a second color overlay for effect. "You just pick words out of the air, don't you?" from Scribner's Monthly Magazine for January 1910. Click on image to enlarge.
"Butter 'n' eggs! Butter 'n' eggs!" from "The Dollivers Caught 'Napping" in Harper's Monthly Magazine for August 1812. Click on image to enlarge.
"Where's our Butter 'n' eggs?" from "The Dollivers Caught 'Napping" in Harper's Monthly Magazine for August 1812. Preston has few equals as a humorous illustrator. Click on image to enlarge.
I think you're in for a treat if you will be discovering May Wilson for the first time. She was a wonderful illustrator and extremely popular as well as wildly successful in her time. I have samples of her work in all three of the most prestigious monthly magazines of her early days: Century, Harper' and Scribner's.
May was born as Mary Wilson in New York in 1873. (May was a nickname for Mary very popular at the time.) She studied art at Oberlin College, OH and after graduation, at the Art Students League in NYC under Robert Henri -- as did my mentor, Harold Irving Smith -- and John Sloan.
She was a participant in the struggle for women's rights and challenged her right as a female student to attend life drawing classes. This was a young woman with great strength of character as well as an abundance of talent.
Click on each of the following images for an enlarged view.
The earliest sample of her work that I have is from an issue of Harper's Monthly Magazine for September of 1903. The article is entitled "Hunting for an Apartment" by May Isabel Fisk in a section of the publication called Editor's Drawer. The caption reads,"We are just pretending to be married." The character on the left seems to be clumsily drawn—note the bad hands and broken legs—whereas the young couple and their dog are extremely well done and not noticeably dated for that period.
This is the only other example of her work that I have where she is May Wilson-Watkins. I have no idea whether she was using a hyphenated name in the style of Europeans after her days of study in Paris with the famous James Whistler, or that it is a married name.
From Scribner's Monthly Magazine for January 1904.
May Wilson-Watkins is now credited as May Wilson Preston in Scribner's Monthly Magazine for August 1904. The author was a social activist in his time and this is a humorous story about an anarchistic parrot.
May Wilson or May Wilson-Watkins married the artist, James Moore Preston. Each was a member of the Ash Can School and exhibited at the famous Armory Show of 1913 that took place in New York City.
These illustrations were done in much the same style as her husband's work shown here in the center image.
By 1910, May Wilson's work became much brighter and more mainstream and we will go there with further examples in the next batch of uploads.
From an article in Scribner's Monthly Magazine January 1910.