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Fort Washington, PA 19034
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Original Illustration Art circa 1890-1970

Spencer Douglass Crockwell

(American- 1904-1968) biography  |  subscribe to this artist



The illustrations of Douglas Crockwell were often simply signed “Douglass” to avoid confusion with the signature of Norman Rockwell, particularly since their work was being published on the covers of The Saturday Evening Post during the same period. Necessary too, because Crockwell also worked very realistically, and like Rockwell, was particularly good with children.

    Their backgrounds, however, were entirely different. Crockwell was born in Chicago, Ohio, and took his degree in Science at Washington University, followed by study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Chicago and the St. Louis School of Fine Arts. He received his first commission for a cover for The Saturday Evening Post in 1933, and this was followed by many more, as well as work for other periodicals and a long list of national advertisers.

    During the ‘thirties, he also completed Post Office murals in Vermont, New York State and Mississippi, and began to work on experimental animated films. The films, and inventing a “pan-stereo” viewing camera to produce them, occupied the rest of his life, although he also continued to do some twenty to forty illustrations a year.

    His work won Art Directors Club medals in 1943, 1945 and 1946, and his films are in the Museum of Modern Art Film Library.