Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gene Foote: St. Louis Illustrator

A recent trip to a Maplewood antique mall produced this cool discovery: an original pencil/ink illustration by fellow St. Louisian Gene Foote. The seller info attached mentioned simply that Foote worked in the 50's and 60's as a commercial artist for the local newspapers (and Anheuser-Busch), and is now unfortunantly deceased. I fell in love with this illustration the second I saw it, and it was super affordable too so I couldn't resist:

(Pencil and ink on 9" x 12" Cold Pressed Illustration Board with handwritten pencil note on back: "Salesmen Never Miss An Appointment... Taking Care of Everything at Once.")

I can't seem to find any info online about Gene Foote, and I'd sure love to see more of his stuff. If anyone knows anything at all about Gene or this illustration (and how or where, or if it was even used), please let me know-- thank you!


Mr. Cavin said...

This is really great. I have never ever heard of Foote before, but would love it if you came up with some more info. I particularly like the nice clean way he drew that kitchen background (but it's the sacks under the eyes--and particularly that Flintstones' lip profile intersecting the mouth--that I like best).

I hate to keep harping on your sidebar, but who drew that badge for THOIA? That's also great three-quarter portrait cartooning.

Karswell said...

Gotta love those crumbly smoke trails coming off the flying burnt toast too! This character's face pretty much defines what I loved about illustrated newspaper ads from my childhood. Something about Foote's style just feels so STL, it's hard to describe unless you've lived here and remember the little bits of key art used in The Post Dispatch or Globe Democrat to highlight not only the advertising but also the articles and local news, weather, etc.

I've been looking all over for anything Foote might have done in connection with Anheuser-Busch, but so far have come up with nothing. Thanks for the comment Mr C!

Karswell said...

Oh, and the THOIA sidebar badge image is from an old Grandmother Stover toy card.

Hairy Green Eyeball said...

I love the style on this cartoon; everything is in motion, funny comic exaggeration. I'd also like to see more of Gene Foote's cartoons. Since he worked for Anheuser-Busch his work might be available in magazines of the same era as the cartoon you showed.

Foote's style owes something to Virgil (Vip) Partch. Some of Vip's work can be found here.

Anonymous said...

I love his crazy eyebrows and especially the wild way Foote chose to ink the suit he's wearing. You found a really nice piece of original art Karswell, thank you for sharing!

Karswell said...

Thanks Hairy and Anon!