by Donato

This past weekend found me in Los Angeles attending events hosted by a wonderful fan club,, related to the celebration of the Oscars and the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien.  Sad to say, The Hobbit; An Unexpected Journey did not land any awards, but that did not prevent me from coming home to Brooklyn – inspired, energized and reflective on my time there.

In between my time at an art show Friday night and a party on Sunday, my friend and ex-assistant  Eric Bouffard shuffled me around town in a whirlwind of voyeuristic delights (Eric was my first assistant over ten years ago and is now a Senior Digital Matte Painter at Dreamworks).  Our first stop Saturday morning was at the Los Angeles Public Library where murals of Dean Cornwell and two other artists numbed our eyes.  The complexity and color balances of the Cornwells were stunning, and appeared to be recently cleaned so much so that they looked to be painted yesterday.

Dean Cornwell Mural   Los Angeles Public Library
Dean Cornwell Mural   Los Angeles Public Library

 After absorbing the murals and a few bites, we were off to Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA for an amazing show of turn of the century illustration art, Illustrating Modern Life: The Golden Age of American Illustration from the Kelly Collection.  This show was a block buster, with paintings from Dean Cornwell, Harvey Dunn, N.C. Wyeth and Howard Pyle.  It was great to compare and contrast the early Dunns against one another as well as doing so with the Cornwells.  The show is a testament to the great eye Mr. Kelly has for picking the best of these artists.  Below are a few of my favorites from the exhibition.  If you are in the area, it is well worth the trip and price of admission (Free!) to see such craftsmanship laid out all under one roof!


Howard Pyle

Sarah Weber

Harvey Dunn

Dean Cornwell

NC Wyeth