Bernie Fuchs, Illustrator
September 22, 2009 5:11 PM   Subscribe

Bernie Fuchs, one of the all-time greats of American illustration, has passed away.

A phenomenally talented artist, he didn't start studying to be an artist until an industrial accident the year after high school cost him 3 fingers, and ended his dream of becoming a professional jazz trumpeter. (And he lost those fingers on his drawing hand!)

He began his commercial art career at New Center Studio in Detroit, working on illustrations for the auto companies. In a few short years, it was off to NYC, where he was soon dazzling the best in the business. "I don't know who the hell did this, but the business is never going to be the same."

After mastering the existing illustration styles of the day, he went on to create his signature style of transparent washes of oil color, all grounded with spectacular draughtsmanship and a stunning sense of design.

An article on his career and technique.
Flickr set
Gallery

RIP, Bernie Fuchs, and thanks for the work.
posted by Bron (15 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
A great illustrator. The (very) early years.
posted by tellurian at 5:28 PM on September 22, 2009


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posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 5:50 PM on September 22, 2009


For his sake.
posted by Eideteker at 6:13 PM on September 22, 2009


What great illustrations; thanks for posting this. I didn't know his name but I knew his style for sure.

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posted by LobsterMitten at 6:14 PM on September 22, 2009


Thanks for this. I know I've seen his work, but never knew the name.

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posted by readery at 7:05 PM on September 22, 2009


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posted by pernoctalian at 7:10 PM on September 22, 2009


For the life of me I can't figure out why illustrators have been regarded as tradesman and not quite artists. I'd rather view a well rendered illustration over an abstraction any day.
posted by digsrus at 7:45 PM on September 22, 2009


I just read this on Today's Inspiration -- man, he did good work.
posted by zusty at 8:22 PM on September 22, 2009


He was one of the greats, really defined a style for that era.
posted by marxchivist at 8:27 PM on September 22, 2009


Brilliant.

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posted by billypilgrim at 8:34 PM on September 22, 2009


His name tops the list (just above Rockwell) of Great 20th Century American Artists Written Off For Being Too Commercial.

It's a disgrace that so little of the 20th Century is actually depicted in its canonical works.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:09 PM on September 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's a disgrace that so little of the 20th Century is actually depicted in its canonical works.

That's an interesting point - I'm not sure I agree with it yet, I'm still pondering - but it seems like it *could* be true, and for some fascinating reasons.
posted by freebird at 11:43 PM on September 22, 2009


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I actually met Bernie a long time ago at one of the Illustrator's Workshops. Very nice man, very open with advice for young art students.
posted by Mcable at 5:25 AM on September 23, 2009


As an illustrator and designer, albeit with far less facility than Mr. Fuchs, I can testify to the amount of raw talent, visual sense, attention to detail, practice, and the indefinable "master's hand" exhibited in all of his work. I wish I was half that great. He will be remembered.
posted by spacely_sprocket at 6:52 AM on September 23, 2009


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posted by Smart Dalek at 9:40 AM on September 23, 2009


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