Circa 1935: Dames.
November 9, 2015 by kblumenau
I don’t know much about my grandpa’s dating history, which is fine with me; I don’t need or want to know that.
I do know that — no matter what was going on in the real world — my grandpa went through a period when women were an ongoing source of inspiration at his artist’s table.
I believe most if not all of these drawings date to the mid-1930s, many years before the Hope Street calendars, and before my grandpa got married or moved to Stamford. (He was living in Springfield, Mass., then.)
He did an occasional side business as a commercial artist, and some of the drawings below might have been made for that purpose. Others might have been made as part of art classes.
And others … well, who knows? Bill Blumenau was a red-blooded young man, and maybe he just liked to make beautiful dames appear out of the air.
A gallery, then, of The Women Of Bill Blumenau:
The geometric quality of this one — is that the right word? — leads me to wonder if it began life as a class drawing exercise. (Sorry for the intrusive folds in some of these pictures, but they’ve been folded up for 80 years.)
This one, meanwhile, looks like a rough sketch of something a florist might have commissioned — or something my grandpa sketched out in hopes of selling to a florist.
Wonder what 19-year-old this was meant for? It’s clearly a rough sketch, yet at the same time, he shaded in the woman’s body pretty extensively.
This face, with its heavy lids and puckered mouth, looks like an exaggerated version of the face in the florist ad mockup above. (I imagine most of these faces are based on pix of actresses clipped from magazines, not on real-life models. Can any movie buffs in the audience tell me if any of these sketches look like famous actresses of the day?)
This one’s pretty; not sure what else to say about it.
The only dated picture in the collection: Sept. 24, 1933.
The image of a woman as a perfect factory-produced good, unsullied in any way and just waiting to be unwrapped, would not play well with the women I’ve known. Times change.
A couple of dance-related sketches, now.
Finally, my grandpa illustrated at least one catalog for Foerster’s Furriers, a long-ago Springfield business. There’s nothing particularly distinctive about these drawings — neither Foerster nor my grandpa wanted to break new ground, apparently. But, they still seem like suitable additions to the Gallery of Dames.