Monday, November 24, 2014

Cy Ferring: ABOARD AND ABROAD Illustrations

I would like to grab the Tardis or slip through the Guardian of Forever and travel through time to the middle part of the 20th century. It was the Golden Age of Magazine Illustration back then.

I would then like to mess with time and introduce the Internet. It would mean that all of these guys (they were mostly all guys) would have a site and a blog and a Tumblr and so on. We could watch process videos by J. C. Leyendecker or Whitney Darrow, Jr., for instance.

We would also have more information on Cy Ferring, an illustrator born in Dubuque, Iowa, who worked in Chicago. There is very little about him online.

He illustrated very popular children's books such as How Life Begins (Chicago Book House for Children 1935). 
In May of 1934, he was sent to England to make sketches of King George's Jubilee that would be used later for advertising. Royal events like anniversaries were often celebrated with advertising specialties like tea sets, silk banners, and badges upon which the likenesses of the Royal Family were depicted. -- Gary Olsen

One of the books C.P. Ferring illustrated was BOARD AND ABROAD (OLSEN'S COMPLETE TRAVEL GUIDE TO EUROPE) by Harvey S. Olsen. ABOARD AND ABROAD is copyright 1955 by Harved Publishers, Chicago.

This was when traveling meant putting on your best clothes for the twelve to fourteen hour NYC to London plane trip (this includes stops at Gander, Newfoundland and Shannon, Ireland to refuel).

ABOARD AND ABROAD has a lot of practical advice on where to go, what to pack, exchange rates, dealing with cabbies, waiters, hotel clerks, etc. For instance, if you are traveling with more than one woman, there is a section on hiring a gigolo for the evening to dance with that extra woman. The head waiter can find you a gigolo, and tell you their rates. And if you are a coffee-lover (Who isn't?), it's best to bring your own freeze-dried Nescafe than depend on that "bad" European coffee. There is a description of the pubs of England and the beers you can get, with the admonition to order the lightest beer since it tastes "more American."

 It was another time, and Ferring's wispy, precise pen and ink drawings cleanly convey a gentile graciousness. These drawings are general quite small, and they are blown up a bit here so you can real appreciate his work. I wish I knew more about this fellow Iowa-born artist whose work I admire.


The Ferring Murals at the Lamb-Hedeman Auditorium, Dubuque, Iowa

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Cy Ferring was a close family friend of my grandfather. I'm more familiar with his paintings than his pencil illustrations, but what an incredible artist!