Is That a Hilda?

I’ve recently become acquainted with a wonderful blog called My Vintage Vogue. The blogger, Jessica, shares images of fashion history from the 20’s into the 60’s.  To quote her: “I’m just a girl with a scanner and a dream, preserving the past one image at a time”.  Her blog is page after page of stunning clothing, some really interesting photography and, of course, fashion illustrations that she has found in various types of publications.  Needless to say, I love this site and if you love Hilda’s drawings, you’ll enjoy a visit there as well.

As I was looking through the images, I saw drawings for I.Magnin, Vogue Patterns, Harry Frechtel and I thought, were these done by Mom?  If not by her, then by whom?  Jessica is lovingly archiving these images and in some cases, she can name the photographer and model (if they were particularly famous), but for the most part, these wonderful images remain anonymous. Hardly anyone signed their work in an ad.  I know that Mom thought of herself as a commercial artist, so why sign?  There were bigger and smaller clients and they all helped pay the bills.  In her mind, she wasn’t a fine artist like my Dad. His paintings hung in shows at the Brooklyn Museum and the  like.  His work came from the soul. But time does strange things, and now, yup, I think I consider her work fine art as well.  Although the initial impetus to start a drawing was commerce, she too put her soul into her work.  They have a wonderful spirit to them and now that decades have gone by and the drawings are separated from the ads, people are responding to them as  they would had  they been on display at the Met.

What happened to all the other artist’s original work? Where have they ended up? I hope in some other white cabinets across the world, ready to show themselves.   Or perhaps on a wall at The Brooklyn Museum …


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