Thursday, June 10, 2010


This three-tiered montage appeared in Fortune magazine in 1947 as part of a 48-state series sponsored by the Container Corporation of America. Flora, an Ohio native, was commissioned to illustrate his birth state. A color version—as it ran in Fortune—was reproduced in The Mischievous Art of Jim Flora. Tearsheets turn up periodically on Ebay.

The above greyscale version—presumably the original, described as "watercolor, gouache, and pencil on paperboard"—is in the Smithsonian collection, according to their online catalog. It's not clear if the original is black and white and colorization was added at the magazine print stage, or if the image was converted to greyscale for the Smithsonian's database. A phone call to the Smith would resolve the matter. It's on our to-do list.