Filed Under: "commercial illustrations"

Spot illustrations for Columbia Records new release monthly, Coda.

Continue Reading... Coda spot illos, ca. 1944

Illustration, Columbia Records new popular-release weekly trade mailer Hit of the Week, August 1942, promoting clarinet-tooting bandleader Benny Goodman’s new single, “I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo.” At the time, Flora was working in the Columbia art department under then-Art Director Alex Steinweiss. Another illustration from this series of ads can be viewed here.

Continue Reading... I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo

Flora “Rhapsody (in Blue)“ wallpaper by Astek and Double-E featured on the Babyccino blog: Writes Pim’s mom Esther: Last weekend, my husband and I did something new for both of us: we wallpapered a wall. We learned a lot about measuring, cutting, and patience, and got to deeply respect the skills of professional wallpaperers. But after hard labour I’m proud to present the results: the wall behind Pim’s bed is covered in gorgeous blue wallpaper!…

Continue Reading... Pim’s bed and Flora wallpaper

Another Flora album cover—although in this case the product is digital-only. The illustration originally appeared in the December 1945 issue of Columbia’s Coda new-release monthly, which Flora wrote, edited, and illustrated for three years. The detail was adapted for this digital album cover by Flora co-archivist Irwin Chusid, who also represents the Sun Ra estate. The album is available at iTunes. Flora’s album cover legacy has extended into the 21st century, with designers adapting his images…

Continue Reading... Sun Ra: Solo Piano (a la Flora)

Spot illustration, Columbia Records new popular-release weekly trade mailer, November 7, 1942, promoting bandleader Horace Heidt’s new single, “Pennsylvania Polka.” Despite the caption,  there appear to be no casualties on the dance floor.

Continue Reading... murder in the Keystone State

WOW! YIP! Don’t miss this!

September 20, 2013

Spot illustration, Columbia Records new popular-release weekly trade mailer, October 31, 1942, promoting Kay Kyser and His Orchestra’s single “Can’t Get Out of This Mood” (Columbia 36657)

Continue Reading... WOW! YIP! Don’t miss this!

Get in line …

April 27, 2013

… a Cugat conga line, to pre-order the new Flora anthology, The High Fidelity Art of Jim Flora. It features all of Flora’s known album and EP covers (including back cover illustrations) from 1947 to 1961 for Columbia, RCA Victor, and their affiliated labels, along with music-themed fine art works, illustrations, and sketches. The book was completed last week and will head shortly to the printer. (Despite what it says at Amazon, the publication date…

Continue Reading... Get in line …

There’s been little Florablogging in recent months. Not for lack of interest, certainly not for lack of fresh material. We could post something new every day for the next five years and still retain a cache of surprises. A few years ago we discovered a sketch album that contained 225 (artist-clipped and glued-in) pencil and ink drawings from the 1940s, very few of which were subsequently published or posted. That album alone could carry us…

Continue Reading... The High Fidelity Art of Jim Flora

summer fun

July 6, 2012

Illustration detail, “What is Automation,” Collier’s magazine, March 16, 1956. The optimistic take: “Automation has been heralded by some as the threshold to a new Utopia, in which robots do all the work while human drones recline in pneumatic bliss.” There was a counterbalancing pessimistic view, but in observance of the current summer heat wave, we’ll stick with the sunshinier forecast.  We’re still looking forward to consumer helicopters with open-air cockpits.

Continue Reading... summer fun

The Picasso of Jazz

June 17, 2012

Thanks to Clayton Walter for a nice little Flora gallery at his Claytonology blog: “I think of Flora as the Picasso of Jazz; his other-worldly depictions of Jazz musicians capture perfectly the vibe of a certain era of the music—brash, swingin’ and full of ecstatic movement. There’s another side to Flora as well. If you look closely at his LP illustrations, beyond the exciting flash,  you see a cunning method to his cartoonish madness.”

Continue Reading... The Picasso of Jazz

traffic snarls

March 5, 2012

Miserable pedestrian—what part of “beep” don’t you understand? Untitled, unfinished tempera on board (detail), 1950s. Purpose unknown.

Continue Reading... traffic snarls

electromechanical design

October 9, 2011

Spot illustration, promotional brochure for trade journal Electromechanical Design: Components and Systems, 1957. Flora illustrated a number of covers for the monthly from 1957 to 1960.

Continue Reading... electromechanical design
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