Friday, March 25, 2011

A New Turn in Taxes

The above tempera on illustration board by Flora was recently purchased by a fabulous financial blogger. The Rube Goldberg-like catalytic pipeline originally appeared in the December 1964 issue of Fortune magazine accompanying an article entitled "A New Turn in Taxes."

Most of Flora's work-for-hire illustrations from the 1940s and 1950s cannot be located, having been kept (or disposed of) by client art directors. Judging by what's in the Flora family collection, starting in the late 1950s the artist began retrieving his creations after publication. Hundreds of commercial illustrations—some elaborate like "Taxes," others simple black and white spot illos—remain in storage. There's no way of knowing how many commercial illustrations Flora provided during his career—surely thousands, because that's primarily how he earned his livelihood. Despite his considerable legacy of fine art, it was topical deadline assignments that paid the mortgage and supported the family.

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