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Cornwell, Dean

(1892 – 1960)

Functions of Combat; Service of Supply, circa 1945

Charcoal and watercolour on paper,
twenty four designs each 12 x 12 cm (4 3/4 x 4 3/4 in.) or 9.5 x 12 cm (3 1/4 x 4 3/4 in.)

DESCRIPTION

Literature: Patricia Janis Border , Dean Cornwell, Collectors Press, Inc., Portland, OR, 2000, p. 142.

These are the original designs for Ardennes American Cemetery and Memorial, situated near the southeast edge of the village of Neupr, twelve miles south-west of Liege, Belgium. 

Cornwell, an illustrator and muralist who lived and worked in New York City, was commissioned to produce designs for twenty-four white marble panels depicting functions of combat and service of supply, from data prepared by the American Battle Monuments Commission. The panels were fabricated by the Pandolfini firm of Piestrasanta in Italy and were painted in black, on white Carrara marble, the background of each picture being cut back and gilded, indicated by the yellow background of Cornwalls drawings.
























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THE ARTIST

Cornwell, Dean

1892 – 1960

Dean Cornwell, an American illustrator,  worked as an assistant to Frank Brangwyn between 1926 and 1930, helping with the Skinner Murals (second series) and the British Empire panels. He was a close friend and travelling companion of Helck who advised Cornwell to study with Brangwyn in preparation for his mural project the rotunda of the Los Angeles Public Library (1927-32).  For over three decades, Dean Cornwell was recognized as the “Dean of
Illustrators”, and was a celebrated and well-known name during his
lifetime. He was widely regarded as an instructor and idolized by a
generation of illustrators, lecturing at the Art Students League and at
art museums and societies throughout the United States during the
“Golden Age of Illustration”. His paintings were exhibited at the
Whitney Museum of American Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art,
the Chicago Art Institute, the Pratt Institute, the Art Center of New
York City, and the National Academy of Design. Between 1914 and the
late 1950’s he produced over 1000 illustrations for poems, stories, and
novels. Between 1920 and the mid-1950’s, his illustrations appeared in
magazines and posters as advertising for hundreds of products, such as
Palmolive Soap, Coca-Cola, Goodyear tired, and Seagrams Whiskey. In
addition to his career as an illustrator, between 1930 and 1960,
Cornwell was one of America’s most popular muralists. His historic
murals decorate over 20 public buildings across the United States.
Cornwell was an illustrator who tried to find a meaningful role in a
world constantly changing with technology. His greatest inspirations
were Howard Pyle, N.C. Wyeth, Edwin A. Abbey, and Harvey Dunn. Despite
Cornwell’s prolific and well-regarded work, today he is much less well
known than during his lifetime.   

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