The Dean’s Girls

(Last Updated On: February 10, 2017)

He was called by his contemporaries “The Dean of Illustrators” and, yes, he was that good.  I’m speaking, of course, of Dean Cornwell.  At the height of his illustrative powers his name was as well-known in the US as Norman Rockwell, and his work nearly as ubiquitous.  These days he’s been all but forgotten, which is a shame.  Personally I prefer his work to that of Rockwell, who tends a little too much towards silliness and pathos.

dean-cornwell-9

Dean Cornwell – (Title Unknown) (1)

Dean Cornwell - (Title Unknown) (2)

Dean Cornwell – (Title Unknown) (2)

Dean Cornwell - Wartime Evacuation

Dean Cornwell – Wartime Evacuation

The following was one of illustrations Cornwell did for Bruce Barton’s “The Man of Galilee” articles. They’re some of Cornwell’s best work, in my estimation:

Dean Cornwell - The Man of Galilee (1928)

Dean Cornwell – The Man of Galilee (1928)

Now we get to his murals. The first two are the same scene—they are the full painting and a sketch for the piece (respectively) from a series of murals collectively called Great Eras of California History, all of which are in the Lowdrick M. Cook Rotunda of the Los Angeles Public Library. In fact, there’s loads of beautiful art and architecture to be seen at the library.

Dean Cornwell - The Founding of Los Angeles (mural, LA Public Library) (1932)

Dean Cornwell – The Founding of Los Angeles (mural, LA Public Library) (1932)

Dean Cornwell - Sketch for 'The Founding of Los Angeles'

Dean Cornwell – Sketch for ‘The Founding of Los Angeles’

Here are two more of the murals from the same series.

Dean Cornwell – Americanization (mural, LA Public Library) (1932)

Dean Cornwell – Mission Building (mural, LA Public Library) (1932)

Details from other murals:

Dean Cornwell - Air - Gold in the Sunshine (detail)

Dean Cornwell – Air – Gold in the Sunshine (detail)

Dean Cornwell - Air - Gold in the Sunshine (detail)

Dean Cornwell – Air – Gold in the Sunshine (detail)

Dean Cornwell - (Title Unknown) (4)

Dean Cornwell – (Title Unknown) (4)

Dean Cornwell - (Title Unknown) (5)

Dean Cornwell – (Title Unknown) (5)

Wikipedia: Dean Cornwell

American Art Archives: Dean Cornwell

2 thoughts on “The Dean’s Girls

    • Okay, thanks. You know, I even commented in the post that it looked a lot like Sorolla’s work. If I had just bothered to check the signature (which I usually do), I would’ve realized it. Not sure how that one slipped past me. Anyway, it’s been removed. Thanks again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *