I’m obsessed. It began a few weeks ago when, on an Internet auction, I purchased an original drawing called “Rocket Speedway,” by Sidney Howell, executed in 1935. Howell was an artist who occasionally worked for Orton & Spooner. According to the University of Sheffield’s National Fairground Archives, Orton & Spooner
major ride-builders and decorators based at Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire. Their worked spanned early carving through to construction of 19th Century Shows, classic Scenic Railways, up to the design and building of 1930s thrill rides such as the Ark and Dodgem.
I surmise that Howell was called into action to create this gift from one of the Ortons to a man named Norman Bartlett. An inscription at the bottom reads:
To Norman Bartlett – February 1936. In memory of a very pleasant association constructing the most thrilling ride we have manufactured in our sixty-years experience. Tom Orton. (?)
After that, I began to get interested in illustration art from the 20th century. I purchased one of the unpurchased, “Buy Now” items from a Heritage Auction, this one from the 1940s, an original painting used for a novel cover:
High-style pulp art it is not. But it was my entry point into the world of original illustration art: magazine covers, book covers, and advertisements.
Resources For Original Illustration Art
Prints of illustration art are a dime a dozen: just check eBay. But sources for original paintings are more rare. Some of the best.
Grapefruit Moon Gallery: A lively market for illustration art, pinups, and glamour art.
Taraba Illustration Art: Purveyors of the highest quality illustration art out there. Offers works by name artists such as Margaret Brundage, Walter M. Baumhofer, Harry Fisk, James Montgomery Flagg, and Arthur Sarnoff.
And to mention…
Bruce Palmer Galleries II: This dealer has excellent pieces, but its online collection is located on the shitty AskArt super-site.
Girasol Collectibles: Not a huge selection of original art, but what they do have is from name artists: George Rozen, Walter Baumhofer,
Illustration Magazine: Not a seller, but a great magazine with archives posted for free viewing. This magazine is a must.