"Bag and Baggage, LIFE Magazine cover"   Lot no. 4707

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By Clarence Coles Phillips (American- 1880-1927)

17 1/8" x 19"
Gouache on paper laid on board



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LIFE Magazine cover, December 15, 1921

"Coles Phillips embodies innovative American periodical and advertising design between 1911 and 1927, a period considered a Golden Age of illustration. In 1907 he became a staff artist at Life Magazine, and the following year created his first "fadeaway girl" design in which the color of the figure's clothing and background are the same... Not only is the viewer encouraged to imaginatively fill-in the form, but the magazine reduced costs by using only a few colors of printing ink. Such images, designed for Life and Good Housekeeping to advertise products sold by Overland automobiles and Luxite hosiery, often centered on a type of young, alluring female that became known as the Phillips Girl." (www.metmuseum.org)

This work is cut down from it's original full length.
Framed Dimensions 29 X 30 Inches

Explore related art collections: Women as Subjects / Fashion / Magazine Covers / $50,000-$100,000 / Portraits

See all original artwork by Clarence Coles Phillips



The “Fadeaway Girl” was the particular hallmark of Coles Phillips: he pictured fashionably beautiful young women, using the device of tying the figure into the background by either color, value or patterns. This approach produced an intriguing poster-like effect of great simplicity; actually it was based on the most careful preliminary planning of shapes to carry out the illusion of the full figure.

   Phillips was born in Springfield, Ohio, and had his first pictures reproduced as a student contributor to the Kenyon College Monthly magazine. Upon graduation, he tackled a New York career, first as a solicitor for an advertising agency. Later he formed his own studio of artists, including the young Edward Hopper. After further study at the Chase Art School, he decided to launch his art career. His first effort was sold to the old Life magazine as a double-paged spread. When Life began to use color on its covers, the “Fadeaway Girl” made her initial appearance and was an instant success. For many years thereafter, she appeared in a variety of guises, but was always a patrician beauty.

   Phillips prided himself on being a good businessman-artist. His pictures, both for covers and for advertising campaigns including Holeproof Hosiery and Community Plate Silverware, were the product of a meticulous, cerebral craftsman.