Monday, December 14, 2009

Brought the Fantasy to Life

Santa art by Haddon Sundblom is everywhere. But I'd like to show a few of my faves.

The Santa immediately below is from 1943, in the depths of WWII (note the war bonds). People were more aware of global news than ever before. Santa and Coca Cola were goodwill ambassadors wherever they went, and they really did and do make good partners. This image, for me, is the most iconic of all the Coca Cola Santas:

All the art below is from Hallmark Cards and is not seen as often as the standard Coke ads. The one seen directly below is also iconic. All the Santa paintings by Sundblom, and boy there are many, have brought the fantasy to life and constitute a huge milestone in the history of graphic illustration. Here Santa is deftly portrayed as a jolly old elf.


Steve Scott said...

Is it my imagination, or is popular art devolving? I can't imagine picking up a mainstream magazine today and seeing anything as stunning as these wonderful works.

Major Pepperidge said...

These are really fantastic, thanks so much!

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

There's great work being put out today by fantastic artists, but mainstream magazines are not utilizing it the way 20th century magazines did. There has to come a day when editors and art directors realize that people need and desire magazines and advertising that bear the visions of our great illustrators displayed as the great magazines did in the 20s, 30s , and 40s.

I think there is a tremendous amount of stunning art right here and now that is being totally misused and abused by art directors.

Aargh, that's a whole subject all of us illustration fans should grapple with. Let's demand a rebirth of great use of great illustration in magazines, paperbacks, advertising, etc!