Monday, August 31, 2009

Female Illustrators of the 50's: Evaline Ness

Every now and then I'm asked about female illustrators of the 50's. Its true that illustration was very much a male dominated profession back in the mid-century period... but there were actually quite a few prominent female illustrators. We've looked a some over the past few years, and this week we'll look at a few more. Unfortunately, as with many of the male illustrators, biographical details are not always readily available. Happily, in the case of Evaline Ness (thanks to a feature article in the January 1956 American Artist magazine) I actually have quite a bit of information.

First, and perhaps most remarkable, Evaline Ness was the wife of famous FBI investigator Elliot Ness.

Before her marriage she was a fashion model... then a fashion illustrator.

Her marriage to Ness lasted only nine years, after which she travelled extensively to Asia and Europe, living for a time in Italy. There she spent 18 months sketching - until her funds were nearly exhausted. When Ness returned to the U.S. she first tried to settle in San Francisco, but found there was not enough work. She returned to New York and received assignments doing fashion, advertising and editorial art.

At a later date, I plan to spend a week on Evaline Ness. For those interested in seeing more of her work right away, a Google Image Search will turn up many examples of her charming children's book artwork.

* My Evaline Ness Flickr set.

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