at the Wall Street Journal, Part 2

Images by Kevin Sprouls. Photographs, courtesy of Barbara Kelley

Gosh, are we in the 1920’s here?? Picture quality is definitely early rotogravure, or is that daguerreotype? No, it’s 1983, at my office Birthday party! At the Journal’s art department of this period, there was tremendous Esprit-de-corps, and any excuse to celebrate. Pictured are, l to r, back row: Priscilla Derven, Barbara Kelley (who made the ties), myself, Hai Knafo. Middle: Our boss, Stephen MacDonald. Bottom row: Roz Ryan, Diane Caro, and Posy Webber.

Steve, our boss, was one of the gems. Assigned to temporary service as art director over our collective (he was actually an editor/reporter for the paper), he ruled over a rich and harmonious epoch in the development of the department. One of those “Good Bosses”, I recall him dismissing a glassed-in partition for himself in favor of being “in the room” with the rest of us. This was a very far cry from his successor, I am sorry to report, dear reader.

Barbara and Posy, on the occasion of Posy’s Birthday. Barbara was the Queen of Hats, and made all of our festive headgear. I don’t recall the joke, but I believe it’s photo’s of the entertainment. This seems to have been taken in Chinatown, mid-80’s. Note the antiquated spelling– maybe just a typo, I think it is referring to our “now recognized” pointillistic popularity.

From an article on British Thatchers, interestingly, not the political kind. How naively quaint!

Musician Chuck Findley. The paper used to run a lot of “Human Interest” stories in the 80’s, particularly for the middle column, front page, named the “A-head”. This image is very pointillistic. Good tonal range, I think.

An illustration for the “edit page”, that sported an arts and leisure appendage at that time. This is a direct (and convincing!) copy from my hand of an illuminated letter taken from a review of the book “The Story of Writing”, ca. mid-80’s. I was impressed enough by this treatise to have bought a copy for my elderly Aunt and Godmother, who had IMPECCABLE handwriting. After her passing, the tome went along to one of my siblings, I suspect.

One of my favorites— Billy the Kid. Note the snow-white breast, connoting innocence. I’ve always felt that folks having their pictures taken at this period in history typically have an exhausted look in their eyes. I tried to give his visage a more resilient character here.

I also like drawing flowers, things of beauty. I had the distinct pleasure of once knowing and working next to a master-gardener by the name of Vitus Boyesen. He was my mother’s gardener, and knew it all. I don’t mean in the sense of “know-it-all”— he was the real deal. His son, Hans Boye Boyesen, a talented and ambitious design studio head, taught me guitar and got me started in graphic arts as my tutor in high school days.

I feel indebted to so many! Hope you enjoy this installment. Many more to come…

2 thoughts on “at the Wall Street Journal, Part 2

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