100 Illustrators that all Illustrators should know: #41
Mead Schaeffer (1898-1980)
Country: United States
Famous for: Moby Dick, The Count of Monte Cristo, Les Miserables, Saturday Evening Post, Cosomopolitan
Influenced: James Gurney, Tom Lovell, American Illustration
Influenced by: Howard Pyle, Harvey Dunn, Dean Cornwell, N.C. Wyeth
Mead Schaeffer was an American illustrator, famous for his book and magazine illustrations, and studied at The Pratt Institute where he was taught by Harvey Dunn. Schaeffer has illustrated a multitude of books, including, but not limited to Moby Dick, The Count of Monte Cristo and Les Miserables. During this time, Schaeffer would be influenced by Dean Cornwell, and made the switch from painting fictional characters to real people in non-fictional settings. In this career move, he illustrated many covers for The Saturday Evening Post, and Cosmopolitan among others. For the Satuday Evening Post, much like Remington, Homer, andSchoonover before him, Schaeffer would act as a war-correspondent during WWII, illustrating scenes for the magazine and its subscribers on the homefront. Like many of the American illustrators from the era, he became good friends with Norman Rockwell, and Schaeffer and his family often posed as models for Rockwell’s iconic paintings.
The Old West, once a vast unknown that stretched from the great plains of northern America to the deserts of the southwest, became a romanticized sub genre of landscape and history painting in American art. This remarkable blending of cultures–not only Hispanic and Native American, but numerous European groups and some east Asian immigrants–created a fascinating, but deadly, world of fabled gunslingers, vaqueros, Comanche chiefs, and adventurers. Some nineteenth and early twentieth century painters of the American West include George Catlin, James Otto Lewis, Frederic Remington, Charles Marion Russell, and George Winter.
“When a man or woman came West, their past became an unknown and the present became an open book. They soon became known by their actions or lack of. No one cared who your father was or what you had done. The only things that mattered were, that you were honest, had courage, and that you did your job.” – Louis L'Amour