Tag Archives: Art Student’s League

Where’s Hilda?

Just for fun, I’ve decided to start a little contest series.  Here’s the first one.

I’m so lucky to have been left many things from my family, including many, many photographs.  My grandparents documented their daughters growing up and then my father, who was a wonderful photographer as well as a painter, took over the position.  I always had a camera pointing at me and honestly, I kind of hated it after a while, but then I became a photographer myself which has a touch of irony.  In any case, now I get to share these photos with all of you.  And from the feedback that I get, it seems that you’re enjoying them.

Here’s a classic from about 1926 or so.  I think it might have been Mom’s graduation picture from Hebrew school.  I seem to remember her telling me this.  Mom’s father, Lazar, was an atheist and Cilka was Orthodox. She kept Kosher.  Whatever made her happy, he’d always say.  And I guess this included sending their daughters to Hebrew school.  Anyway, here’s the photo:

Class Picture001-2and here’s the contest:

Which one of these lovely young ladies is Hilda?  The first 5 people who get it right will receive one of our hand mirrors.  Please post on our Facebook page.  Unfortunately because of the cost of overseas shipping, I can only honor responses from the US.  Sorry to all our fans around the world.

Once a month, I will add another contest, so please keep in touch.  And tell all your friends!

Coloring

I met my friend Joan Rafferty when we both attended the School of Visual Arts as photo majors.  Joan, along with a couple of other women from those days (Katherine Andriotis and Flori Seltzer, fyi), has been a lifelong friend.  She remembers Mom well and has been incredibly enthusiastic about the business.  She came to the first NY Gift Show that I did with Kitchen Papers and stood there quietly looking at all the new products.  She turned and a said “Liz, you have to do a coloring book.”  She remembered all the hours spent with her daughter, Coco, coloring the usual books that were on the market.  She wished there was something more in it for her on a creative level. And so, a coloring book of Mom’s drawings would bridge that divide of playing with a 3 year old, loving how they were growing up, being out of your mind bored and getting to create something fun yourself.   It’s an adult coloring book, so to speak.  But in a clean way…  I took Joan’s idea and ran with it.  Angie at Kitchen Papers loved it and so the process began. Instead of it looking like a traditional coloring book, I recreated the style of Mom’s sketchbook.

Hilda's Sketch Pad

Hilda’s Sketch Pad

And inside are 16 drawings ready for color and then your wall.Coloring Book Images-3Coloring Book Images-8

We introduced this at the AmericasMart Gift Show in Atlanta this past January.  We set up samples and colored pencils and soon,  I had a table full of people happily, peacefully coloring.  Like I’ve found with Mom’s drawings in general, they were transported back to a happy, easy time thinking of nothing more than which pencil to pick. And when they were done, each asked shyly if they could take their drawing with them.  I was smiling from ear to ear.

untitled-31

Jessica and drawing

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

I wish I had Mom’s original sketchbooks but hopefully they looked something like this.  What a wonderful collaborative effort between old friends from school, new friends from Kitchen Papers, Mom and me.  It’s really amazing to be able to have an idea and see it happen.  I am one lucky lady!

And if you decide to get Hilda’s Sketchbook, I’d love to see what you do with them. Post them to our Facebook page!

Hilda’s Sketchbook: A Coloring Book is for sale now at our store. Happy coloring!

A Little About Bernie

This whole venture is all about my mother and her immense talent, but when I was growing up, the artist that everyone looked up to wasn’t her.  It was my father, Bernard Glasgow.  He was a fine art painter whose work was exhibited at places like the Brooklyn Museum with the likes of Georgia O’Keefe. He was represented by 57th Street galleries in Manhattan.  Mom and Dad met at when they were taking classes at the Art Student’s League.  In those days, anyone who was serious about art went there.  Dad was a class favorite of teachers  Rico Le Brun and Jon Corbino.  He was a talent.

Bernie was born in 1914 in the Bronx.   He couldn’t wait to get to Manhattan and rented a cold water loft there when he was 17 and gradually moved out of his parent’s apartment. He went to NYU and then the League.  His style of work matched the progress of the century.  He started off realistic.

The Picnic circa 1935

The Picnic circa 1935

In 1941, he won a prestigious WPA award to paint a U.S. Post Office mural that still hangs in Salem, West Virginia.  (I have to do a road trip soon.)

PO Mural

He served in North Africa during WWII, but saw no action.  Stationed in Casablanca, he painted murals and camouflage and was honorably discharged as a Staff Sargeant.  After the war, his fascination turned to Cubism.

Purple Nude

Purple Nude

and then Abstract Expressionism.

He pretty much stopped painting by the early 1960’s and became an art director at a Madison Avenue ad agency.  And yes, Mad Men does bring me back.  It’s like a recreation of place I remember visiting as a kid.  He was a curious man, always creating something, whether it was designing a desk or taking photographs.  He loved kids and was a favorite parent to my friends.  He was always taking us to the amusement park, beach or, his favorite, the many NY museums.

Some of his paintings were out in the world and many were in our apartment.  When he was about 70, he got a call from a gallery who was trying to find Bernie Glasgow. They had just bought one of his paintings at an auction.  Coincidentally, the gallery was a block away from where we lived.  I walked over with him and there was a large, bright realistic painting he had done of a party in Rockport, Massachusetts in the 1930’s.  He had been Jon Corbino’s teaching assistant there.  I remember him looking over the painting and I could see him traveling back to those years.  Then he asked how much it was selling for.  The dealer said $7500.  They had a nice talk and when we walked home he stopped and said “When she said $7500 I almost had a heart attack”.  He couldn’t believe his work could sell for that amount of money.  The painting did sell a few months later, but unfortunately, Dad had passed away by the time I found out.

Over the years, Mom and I found renewed interest in his work and it’s now represented at the Papillon Gallery in Los Angeles.  Dad was a doting father. He would have been thrilled to know that he was able to take care of me and Mom long after his death with the sale of his paintings.

He was the real deal.

Bernie Glasgow (1914-1986)

Bernie Glasgow (1914-1986)

Who Were They and Where are These Drawings?

I know I’ve gotten a slow start, but I am now understanding the Pinterest addiction.  It’s my new museum, wandering the halls looking at beautiful images and never leaving my home.  Whether that’s entirely good is another story…  Of course, I wandered over to the Fashion Illustration Gallery and what outstanding images I found.

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How great are all these?  And all anonymous.  For all I know  maybe one is Mom’s.  I hope there are other children and grand children out there who are rediscovering all these wonderful works of art before they get lost to the wind.

And now onto the next gallery. What will it be? – Great Designers or maybe, just for a smile, Cute Baby Animals.  This is the best museum!

So Many New Things

We’ve been busy. Sorry I haven’t posted sooner.

Our first year exhibiting at The National Stationery Show is coming up soon.  May 20-23 – Javits Center NYC. Booth 1871. Be there or be square.

Flavor Paper and I have teamed up to create Trés Chic Gift Wrap.  A collage of over 30 drawings spanning 4 decades of fashion. How cool is this?

Little rubber stamps of Hildas work

so you can create things like this

I wish everyone could be having as much fun as I am!  I’ll update you all about the show in my next post.

Hilda’s Hangout

I recently caught up with Laura Mueller, one of Mom’s models and a friend of my folks since they met after WWII.  Laura has always had a fabulous wit and time has not passed that gift by.  She says of herself “As a former model, I can say that I no longer have snap to my garters”, but I beg to differ.  Laura was 17 when she started modeling for Mom.  They met at a place called Wally’s.  This was a studio in Manhattan on 44th Street between Lexington and Third.  Wally’s was where all the fashion illustrators of their  day came to practice their skills,  meet like minds and kibbutz.  In other words, it was a hangout.  The owner, Mrs. Wally, was a widow from Scandinavia and apparently a women of few words.  Laura says she only remembers two – “Pose Please” – at which point the models would do four five minute and then four twenty minute poses.  This was an opportunity for the for the artists to really express themselves more creatively.  Even the very best of them had some more mundane accounts where there were restrictions on how the clothes were drawn. Wally’s gave them an opportunity to create truly unique portfolios. This was a time when the printing technology had evolved so that photography was starting to infiltrate into advertising more consistently.   Fashion illustrations were starting to be phased out.  It must have been a very competitive group.  It was also a place where life long friendships (and business associations) started between both artist and model, and artist and artist.  In talking to Laura, I realized that not only she, but other friends that I remember as a kid, came from Wally sessions.

In addition to Mom, Laura worked with  many of the artists that she met there.  One had an account of a very upscale store.  Laura would pose in the most beautiful gowns and after the drawings were done, the artist would give them a little spritz of Chanel No. 5 and off they went to the client.

Mom never mentioned Wally’s.  She did love to reminisce, so I’m surprised this was all new to me.  Perhaps it was an ordinary occurrence of her week at that time and she didn’t think it special enough to discuss.  I am grateful to Laura for helping me bring those years back to life.   

Lights, Camera, Action

Just wanted to mention our very first television appearance.  Mother’s Day is fast approaching and The Gift Insider  thought one of Hilda’s drawings would be the perfect gift.  Here’s the link below.  So did the camera add 10 pounds to Cyd?  She will always look eternally fabulous in any case.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10CAz7mPfrs]

Creative Gift Ideas


My Very Silent Partner Pt.1

A little more about Hilda.  As I’ve said on the site, she was born in 1913 in Brooklyn NY and graduated from Pratt Institute in 1933.  After that, she attended the famous Art Student’s League where she studied with some pretty heavy hitters of the time, Rico Le Brun, Jon Corbino and Bill McNulty.  There she met Bernie Glasgow and they married in 1938.  They were together for 52 years (47 of those married) until his death in 1986.

Mom always loved paper dolls.  For my friend’s birthday presents, she made large dolls about 2 feet tall with their clothes.  Alice of Alice in Wonderland was a favorite of hers.  She also made a beautiful folder for them.  Then came the late 1960’s and posters were in.  In fact, one entire wall of our dining room were posters of all sorts – Peter Max, anti-war, funny, serious, political. You name it. She started creating a poster series called “Cut-It-Outs”. The main girl figure was surrounded by her choice of costume.  There were several posters.  I remember Hippies, Native Costumes and First Ladies.  We took a trip to the Smithsonian for her research for the latter.  She stood in front of the displays and made her sketches. There were more, but memory fails me.  Here’s Carnival Fun. It’s the only mock up that survives.

Carnival Fun

Her next venture was a needlepoint business. More on that next time!