Dean Cornwell, born in 1862, was an American artist who was best known as a muralist and for his famous illustrations in national magazines including Harper’s Bazaar, Redbook and Cosmopolitan. He was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and as a child observed his civil engineer father do industrial drawings, which led to his interest in art.
Cornwell studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and built his career as a cartoonist for the Lousiville Herald and the Chicago Tribune. Cornwell illustrated the works of some of the most famous names in the literary world, including Edna Ferber, Ernest Hemingway, Pearl S. Buck, and Somerset Maugham. He also created murals for the 1939 World’s Fair, Bethlehem Steel and the General Motors Building in New York City.
Cornwell’s spectacular murals grace buildings throughout the country. Some of the most well known are at 10 Rockefeller Center, the Los Angeles Public Library which illustrates the history of California, and the Lincoln Memorial Shrine in Redlands. The Los Angeles Public Library and Redlands projects took five years to complete. Cornwell had contacts with major companies including Palmolive, Coca Cola, Squibb, Seagram’s Gin, and New York Life.
Some of Cornwell’s most famous murals and ads include the Natchez/Lee Paddlwheel Race, Ivory Soap, Woodbury Soap, The Pennsylvania Railroad, and the”Spirit of 1943.” Illustrations, murals, and ads created by Cornwell helped to promote the war effort during the 1940s.
During his career, Cornwell was elected to the National Academy of Design and was president of the Society of Illustrators. Dean Cornwell died in 1960. More on Dean Cornwell
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