by Joan M. Rehlin
For this mini art history post, we’re featuring Ethel Reed…
Born in Newburyport, MA, 3/13/1874, Ethel Reed was a renowned American graphic artist. She attended art school in Boston and then quickly achieved fame, not unusual considering the high quality of her work. As an illustrator and poster artist, Reed created art for a variety of books, magazines, and newspapers, including an Easter poster (shown here) for the Boston Sunday Herald.
Beginning in the 1890s, posters drew attention to the items being offered, as well as to the posters which became sought after by collectors. Virtually any flat surface in the public eye could be found covered with bold, colorful posters that advertised everything imaginable. Reed’s engaging designs and images influenced the success of posters and consequently the growth of 20th century advertising. Unfortunately, Reed's personal life was filled with problems that, according to several sources, eventually overwhelmed her artistic talents. Reed died in London in 1912, and disappeared from art history archives as quickly as she rose to fame. Only recently has she been rediscovered, and Ethel Reed's works can be found on exhibit at several prestigious American museums.
The Boston Sunday Herald – Easter, c. 1895, color halftone poster print, by Ethel Reed
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Welcome to our Art Blog where we occasionally present topics of interest in the fine art world, including featuring artists other than Jim Rehlin. Some of the artwork has been created by long-departed but well-known greats; some, by compelling contemporary artists. All will be pieces we find worthwhile to share with you. If you like any of these, consider sharing the posts forward to your own blogs and other social media.