McCauley Conner Nibble of the Day

Mac Conner, Illustration for part one of “The Other Father” by Laura Z. Hobson. Cosmopolitan, November 1949. Gouache and graphite on illustration board. On view at the Museum of the City of New York. 

Mac Conner, illustration detail, “The Other Father.” 1949.

Mac Conner, illustration detail, “The Other Father.” 1949.

From the audio guide copy at MCNY: 

In order to keep his pictures fresh and surprising, Mac Conner invested energy in creating persuasively specific images, as opposed to generic ones. Each of the pillows in this picture is differently colored and decorated. A large rag rug of a very particular kind underlies the couple and the furniture. Winterberry holly cuttings have been placed on a glass-topped coffee table, itself supported by a wrought iron frame. The focus on details extends to Conner’s work with models. It might seem like a small thing, but note how the woman’s hand cups her lover’s face. Her left thumb and three fingers sit lightly on his cheek, but the fourth finger tucks behind his ear. That’s a tiny detail of behavior that can’t be made up, only recognized. Conner, an attentive director of his models, saw it and used it. In a competitive marketplace, such attention to detail paid off; Conner’s illustrations were plausible, accessible, and of their moment. 

This is fun stuff to write about. 



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