"The Farewell"   Lot no. 3730

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By Pruett A. Carter (American- 1891-1955)

46.00" x 26.00"
Oil on Canvas
Signed Lower Left



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Pruett A. Carter once described the role of the illustrator in this manner:

   “The illustrator may be likened to the director of a motion picture, or a spoken stage-play. He must know his characters – their emotions and desires – he must set the stage, and direct the arrangement and action and conflict of drama. He must live the part of each actor. He must do the scenery, design the costumes and handle the lighting effects. His illustration must be deeper than a poster, for he must make his characters live and breathe and react to each other as the author intended.”

    For nearly 40 years, Carter fulfilled this role in his work for the leading magazines. Especially, he had the ability to paint women sympathetically; his heroines were noted for their gentle, patrician beauty. Walter Biggs had taught him the use of color, and Pruett used his palette with brilliance and taste.

    Carter was born in Lexington, Missouri, and was reared on an Indian reservation in Wyoming where his father ran a trading post and his mother taught school. The family moved on to California so that Pruett could go to high school there. Upon graduation, Carter was encouraged in his art ambitions by James Swinnerton, the cartoonist, creator of “Little Jimmy”.

    Carter went to the Los Angeles Art School and got his first job on Hearst’s New York American; he was later transferred to the Atlanta Georgian. As a step forward toward his ambition to become a magazine illustrator, Carter next became art editor for Good Housekeeping magazine, and eventually was able to assign one of the story manuscripts to himself. From then on, he worked as a freelance illustrator.

    A vacation trip to California in 1930 became a permanent move. Taking along an assignment from Henry Quinan, art editor of Woman’s Home Companion, Carter airmailed the pictures back. With the addition of the long-distance telephone conferences, he found this to be a practical arrangement.

    Carter taught many other illustrators, some at the Grand Central School of Art in New York, others at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, where he headed the illustration department for several years. He was elected into the Society of Illustrators’ Hall of Fame in 1988.