"Guest Husband, Journal magazine interior illustration, March 1946"   Lot no. 3438

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By John Gannam 1907-1965

March 1946 (Estimated)
11.00" x 16.50"
Watercolor and Gouache on Board
Signed Lower Center



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A copy of the magazine accompanies this lot. 

The caption reads: "'Rex,' she said softly, 'I don't want to be a Martha any more.'"

Explore related art collections: 1940s / Romance / Magazine Stories

See all original artwork by John Gannam



John Gannam, illustrator, painter, watercolor specialist, engraver was born in the country of Lebanon in 1897. He spent his early years in Chicago, and at the age of fourteen when his father died, he was forced to leave school to work and became the sole source of income for his family.

One of his early lines of work was as a messenger boy in an engraving studio where he first began his artistic training. After a few years of closely observing artists at work he taught himself to be an artist "like the men who did layouts, lettering, drawings for engravings." He reached his goal when in 1926 he moved to Detroit for four years where he worked in an art studio. He went to New York in 1930 and quickly found employment at Woman's Home Companion and later Cosmopolitan and Ladies' Home Journal.

His illustrations were in high demand and were dome almost exclusively in watercolor, although he was known to work in other mediums. With these commissions in hand other magazines soon recognized his work and he became sought after as an illustrator. Gannam was an artist's artist and was as immensely popular "to his fellow illustrators" as he was with the public. He was known as a perfectionist and a craftsman who did a great number of studies of his subjects "on-the-spot."

Gannam was also known as a "lifelong student of the effects of light and color." When he would come across a particular challenge in a work creating a certain effect, he would work endlessly to solve the problem. Often he would work for months mastering it until finally solved and then he would go on to the next challenge. These lessons helped him become a master of the subtleties of light and its effect on the environment around him. His watercolors demonstrate a sense of spontaneity that one only gets from achieving mastery over this most difficult of mediums. He was "little concerned with details or with corrections which could be made later, if needed, in opaque."

He worked most of his life from his studio located on West 67th street, although during the last years of his life, he worked as an illustrator and lived in Newtown, Connecticut.  He exhibited his watercolors regularly and was elected an Associate of the National Academy of Design. Member of the American watercolor Society; Artists Professional League; Society of Illustrators; Board of Directors, Danbury Academy of Arts; he was a life member of the Illustrators Hall of Fame and others.

He passed away in 1965.