The Roaring ’20s are back at Kenyon with a new exhibit at the Greenslade Special Collections and Archives in Olin Library.
“Coles Phillips: Illustrator of the All-American Girl” features dozens of illustrations by Coles Phillips, a Kenyon student in the Class of 1905. Phillips is considered one of the defining artists of the “Golden Age of Illustration,” and he worked extensively for Good Housekeeping, the Saturday Evening Post and Life magazines. He was famous for introducing an art-deco style to advertisements and for his “fade-away girls,” women whose dresses were illustrated to blend into a same-colored background.
The exhibit was curated last year by Claire Berman ’16 and is on display through Jan. 11, 2017. Berman collected works from across Phillips’ career, drawing pieces from his professional portfolio as well as from editions of the Reveille, Kenyon’s yearbook, to which Phillips contributed numerous illustrations.
“One of the greatest things about working with Phillips’ advertisements and thinking about his legacy was seeing just how connected he was to people,” Berman said. “For example, he employed a young Edward Hopper and was friends with Norman Rockwell. He may not be the most well-known illustrator of the 20th century, but he was one of the most influential, and looking at his work allowed me to gain perspective into some of the modern American artists whom I love.”
“It’s fun to see how these connections spiral out from Gambier and the influence that a Kenyon education can have on the world,” Berman added.