Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Rollicking Roller Skates

Dummy page, Columbia's Children's Album Sets, demo booklet, 1941, part of a series of homemade samples prepared by Flora for the Columbia Records art department. Flora was living in Cincinnati at the time, an Art Academy grad, newly married, barely making ends meet as a freelance commercial illustrator, and sidelining on Little Man Press projects with Robert Lowry. Within a year, Columbia art director Alex Steinweiss offered Flora a job. Within two years, Flora had replaced Steinweiss as AD.

The entire series of demo booklets was reproduced in The Curiously Sinister Art of Jim Flora, along with other Cincinnati-era artifacts.


Harley said...

Do we know the details of what happened when Flora replaced Steinweiss? That's a lotta genius in one place.

Irwin Chusid said...

Harley: Our three books contain lots of info about Flora's Columbia years. In addition to an extensive Coda illustration gallery, The Mischievous Art features a lengthy interview with Steinweiss (still alive as of this writing) about his hiring of Flora; The Curiously Sinister Art contains a Columbia-years gallery and furthers the chronicle; and our forthcoming Sweetly Diabolic Art offers more Columbia artifacts and additional historical perspective on Flora's work under and after Steinweiss.