This is a terrific book; after purchasing it's companion volume of `60s work, I just had to have this.
It follows the same format as its predecessor; there is a brief - but informative introduction and aside from a selected biographical section at the back of the book, the bulk of the volume consists of a year-by-year selection of full-colour illustrations. Most of the material is from women's magazines; there are no contexts to the work (some of them all but invite you to add your own caption) but they are very typical of their type and period; note the psychology at work in that the compositions in most cases have the woman's face as the focal point. The work has, of course, all been executed using traditional media - no Photoshop or Adobe software then... There is a fascinating glimpse into the degree of preparation required for this kind of work by the inclusion of an account (and some supporting photographs) by Anita Virgil of a photo-shoot to provide reference pictures for an illustration - quite an elaborate process.
This is an invaluable book for any artist, illustrator, designer or retro-fan interested in the graphic work of the period; an excellent reference/resource book and a pleasure to look through.
A very welcome addition to the earlier book Lifestyle Illustration of the 60s. This latest one follows the same format as the 60s with over 1300 illustrations and almost all of them in colour. All the work is from women's magazine romantic fiction and I find it amazing that more than a hundred artists manage to find so many creative ways to show essentially the same thing: the emotional reaction between a man and a woman.
Like the 60s book the artists are British or American though there are a few contributions from continental Europe, Danish Kurt Ard has several paintings included. The prolific Coby Whitmore has the most in the book, more than fifty, all revealing what a brilliant artist he is, especially his compositions. Eric Earnshaw and Harry Hants together have more than eighty between them. Hants did a lot of covers for the John Bull weekly magazine, easy to spot as you go through the book because they are complete squared-up cover paintings. Other artists that have a good showing include Joe Bowler, Lynn Buckham, Joe DeMers, Gerry Fancett, Francis Marshall, Edwin Phillips, Andy Virgil, Jon Whitcomb and Walter Wyles but only one from my favourite (apart from Whitmore) Bernie Fuchs, he had a better showing in the 60s book.
It's interesting looking through both books to notice a change of technique between the two decades. In the 60s book the brush style is much freer and casual, the compositions are more flexible with different points-of-view which is not seen so much in the 50s illustrations. There is a use of much more vibrant colours in the 50s work which by the 60s had merged into lots of red, orange and brown as the dominant colours.
Both books show the best of romantic fiction illustration by masters of the genre, a wonderful visual and nostalgic look at a vanished art form.
I originally saw this book in a local bookshop, but given it's heavfty price thought; maybe not. However after perusing the interwebs for a while, I found it here at a reduced price and brand new too! This book is a treasure trove of all things 50's. The illustrations are so beautifully rendered, and the overall set up of the book is brilliant too. A great book for referencing and resourcing for an illustration student such as myself, would highly recommend!
I've lusted after this book for ages and finally got it for christmas - I love it! It's everything I thought it would be; packed full of wonderful illustrations done in various different techniques. If you're inspired by vintage illustration and design this is the perfect book!
The delivery was very prompt. I'm a little disappointed with the book itself, as it focuses entirely on couples and has pretty much nothing else to justify a claim to represent "Lifestyle" eg, fashion, products, leisure etc...