Marketing Colorado has an exceptional, long, and artistic history. It can be seen in the works of numerous glass-plate photographers. William Henry Jackson. W. G. Chamberlain. Joseph Collier. Charles Weitfle. B. H. Gurnsey. Alexander Martin. A. James Harlan. Laura Gilpin. And many others. It can also be seen the buildings architects designed. Harry and Frank Edbrooke. Harold and Viggio Baerresen. George M. Musick. Harry J. Manning. Arthur and William Fisher. Jules Jacques Benois Benedict. And, of course, many others.
But what about the artists. Who were they? Well, there was Allen True. Charles Craig. Charles Partridge Adams. Nellie Walker. And …. but what about those who composed publication art. That’s another subject altogether. Many were anonymous. Many had never been in the American West. Others had only briefly visited. Still, it is in intriguing and barely explored field. One worth an elaborate study.
UNDER THE TURQUOISE SKY
UNDER THE TURQUOISE SKY was a promotional magazine issued by the Rock Island System to promote Colorado and travel on the Company’s rail lines. Contents often included 70 to 80 pages, filled with attractive photographs of towns, hotels, attractions, mountain scenery and other images to attract the tourist. Certainly magazine covers such as the one exhibited above captured the tourist’s eye.
The artist of this cover is, unfortunately, not identified; however, drawn in the style of Charles Dana Gibson and/or Harrison Fisher.
TABOR GRAND, November 29, 1914
The cover of this magazine was drawn by “U.G.C.” We have not been able to identified this artist yet. Perhaps someone seeing this distinctive, post Alphonse Mucha, advertising cover can tell us who this artist was?
A COLORADO SUMMER, Issued by Santa Fe Route, 1898
Railroads publishing weekly, monthly, and/or annual magazines became the norm. They competed for artists, photographers, and writers who could compose seductive publications and significantly increase ticket sales. Shaddrick K. Hooper was one of the most successful writer/editors of railroad publications. He began working for the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad in the early 1880s and his efforts were constructively noted as greatly increasing the railroad’s ridership.
The artist of this Victorian cover is unknown; often the case for these publications.
COLORADO UNDER TURQUOISE SKY, Rock Island Lines, 1930
Even into the “Great Depression” years Colorado railroad lines continued the tradition of attractive promotional publication to encourage ticket sales to vacation destinations. D. M. Wootton was the Manager of the Vacation Travel Service Bureau of the Rock Island Lines. However, the artist of this front cover was identified as “GHB,” but not further detailed within this publication.
COLORADO by Rail, Stage and Auto. Where to Go and How to Get There, 1910
This cover art is signed by the artist, but, once again, only in initials. Interestingly, it foreshadows the work of Edward Shenton, who illustrated F. Scott Fitzgerald’s best novel, TENDER IS THE NIGHT. Despite this progressive type of illustration, and its assumed popularity, the artist did not receive any other note within this publication, “Beautiful Denver.”
MUNICIPAL FACTS, Monthly, December 1919
Volume 2, Number 12, December 1919. MUNICIPAL FACTS, since its inception, promoted Denver and other places in Colorado accessible by trains, and later, by automobile. This magazine respected its artists enough to, almost in every case, identify the art of photographers and painters alike. This issue showcased the exceptional work of Allen True, a Denver muralist who usually executed his concepts in grand lobbies of civic and public buildings.
SHORT LINE BLUE BOOK, August 1906
Another Gibson-Girl-like cover illustration with a signing by the artist, L. Porter. This publication was issued monthly and always sported a drawn front cover, yet interior were illustrated with photographs.
SEEING CRIPPLE CREEK, September 1903
Art reflecting society: smokestacks heaving out dangerous toxins was a “good thing” in early 20th century industry in America. It meant production and prosperity. The artist, AFW, exhibited these societal concepts with a mine, possibly the Wild Horse, in full gear (with Pikes Peak in the background. Who was the artist “AFW?” It would intriguing to know.
The paradox: just several decades earlier Colorado was promoted — and still was in 1903 — as having a healthy purported to help curing such illnesses as tuberculosis. Perhaps, as today, it was the audience who was expected to purchase the magazine.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, ESTES PARK, COLORADO, Union Pacific, early 1920s
The artist has taken the view of “majestic nature.” But then, it is a publication concerning the recently created, “Rocky Mountain National Park.” Note: there is no sign of the Union Pacific Railroad in this glorious front cover; no belching smokestacks; no sign of civilization. Just Nature. Artist not identified.
BEHM’S SUNBEAM, December 1911
Quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oscar Wilde, Alfred Tennyson, William Shakespeare and other literary personalities. One might assume Mr. Behm was quite a reader. But the production of this promotional seems all too eclectic to attract the average person looking for a home in Denver. Yet, this publication in No. 3 of Volume 1, edited by John Ohnimus. I’ve not seen another of this journey into literature.
THE BURNS, THE THEATRE BEAUTIFUL, July circa 1920
Pantages Vaudeville: 1) Overture — Burns Orchestra; 2) International News Weekly; 3) The Four Boyces; 4) Jeans & Shane; 5) Josefita Silva Trio; 6) Dolly Brickey; and, 7) Little Jim & Co.