Illustration House is a venerable gallery, repository and auction house in New York that specializes in great illustration. It is the province of Walt Reed, who is probably the foremost expert on illustration that we have.
Reed is also the author of numerous definitive books on the subject, including The Illustrator in America, 1860-2000, Visions of Adventure: N. C. Wyeth and the Brandywine Artists and John Clymer: An artist’s rendezvous with the frontier West; as well as several excellent art instruction books from his association with the Famous Artist Schools, like The Figure: The Classic Approach to Drawing and Construction (this goes on the shelf next to your Andrew Loomis and George Bridgeman books), and a number of titles co-authored with others.
In his role as curator and chief illustration expert and enthusiast at Illustration House, Reed created a focus for the interest in collecting great illustration that has become remarkably strong in the past few decades.
Though the gallery’s web site is kind of drab and left-over from he 90’s, it does feature succinct bios of some of the great Golden Age illustrators.
The really interesting part of the Illustration House site, though, is the previews of the seasonal auctions, for which images are posted of some of the finest illustration works that are currently available on the open market.
Usually linked from the bottom of the home page, you can choose links to View Lots, and get a list with thumbnails. The thumbnails aren’t linked, click on the lot numbers at the left for larger images of the works.
Here you will find an amazing treasure trove of great illustration, that just happens to be changing hands at the time. You’ll recognize many of the great names in illustration, including many that I’ve featured here on lines and colors.
The most recent auction, for example, includes pieces by Harry Anderson, John Berkey, Joseph Clement Coll, James Montgomery Flagg, Al Hirschfeld, Jeff Jones, Heinrich Kley, J.C. Leyendecker, Andrew Loomis, Al Parker, Howard Pyle, Maxfield Parrish, Norman Rockwell, Saul Steinberg, Haddon Sundblom and Gustaf Tenggren, along with many others. (The links are to my articles, I’m not linking directly to the auction posts because they change over time and will be replaced with newly offered pieces.)
Don’t miss the links at page top to subsequent pages, you can also choose at page bottom to view a linked text list by artist name.
If you have a few thousand extra dollars burning a hole in your pocket, and a blank wall begging for some of history’s greatest illustration art, Walt Reed’s Illustration House the place to go.
(Shown here, top to bottom: Gustaf Tenggren, Howard Pyle, J.C. Leyendecker, Harry Anderson, Heinrich Kley.)