Fred Otnes obituary and The Society of Illustrators, New York

Research Cooperative
15/08/15 03:58:12PM
@chief-admin

This week an obituary appeared in the International New York Times for Fred Otnes, an illustrator, painter and collage artist who worked as a commercial illustrator for newspapers and magazines, and turned towards abstraction when the use of photography became more prevalent from the 1960s onwards (as noted by author Daniel E. Slotnik). His life work was recognised with a hall of fame award by "The Society of Illustrators", a New York based organisation founded in 1901.

The Society has a collection and museum, which I personally would like to see, having grown up on a diet of the New Yorker Magazine and not much else (no TV in our home in New Zealand in the 1960s). There must be more to New York illustration than the New Yorker style! I'd like to see how commercial illustrators have treated scientists and scientific themes over the years. A friend in Germany once made an anthropological study of how scientists are portrayed in laboratory catalogues in the biological sciences. There were definitely more women in the fictional laboratory scenes than in reality.

The Society of Illustrators as a page of links for international affiliations, and these are quite broad.

Other members here might like to explore and report to the Research Cooperative!

David R. Purnell, MA, AMI
16/08/15 12:16:21AM @david-r-purnell-ma-ami:

Peter, thank you for posting this!
How interesting that you, who grew up in New Zealand in the 1960s, had a "diet" of New York Magazine.
I had a 20-year career in New York, and worked not far from the Society of Illustrators, on the upper East side of Manhattan. Visited there, but never joined. When I became a self-employed medical illustrator, I named my company, "NEW YORK WEST Medical Illustration Studio."