Dorothy Monet

(active 1940s-1960s) American Illustrator.

Dorothy Monet worked at the Rahl Art Studio in New York, a midcentury outfit that supplyied illustration work to then-robust editorial and advertising markets. The best known of these illustration agencies was the Charles E. Cooper Studio. The studios produced a consistent product dependent upon a settled methodology of using models, photo shoots, photographic projection (the little-mentioned, actively concealed Lucidograph, or Lucy) and goauche on board. This approach produced a striking sameness in what became known as "Boy/Girl" illustration in the market.

Monet did Boy/Girl work, almost exclusively. Her ads, like many, used the visual conventions of fiction illustration to minimize contrast between editorial content and advertising, with the eager collaboration of the magazines.

Relatively little is known about her, aside from a bit of period testimony about her winsome personal style and a smattering of extant projects--particularly an ad campaign for Ascot Lighters. 

Lief Peng has written about her here, and supplies a number of samples. The Reed Archive files include advertising work for Old Gold cigarettes, but we do not have any of the Ascot work. 

Stylistically, Monet's illustration ranged from an abbreviated realism to more modernist-inflected high design work. She worked during the postwar New York high season of magazine and advertising illustration.

Like many after 1960 Monet would have been badly impacted in the ensuing, precipitous market drop off when tastes changed and magazines–under pressure amid falling ad revenues lost to television–began using much less illustration.  

Dorothy Monet, "Beauty is Certainly Deep" in the Women's Home Companion. May 1955.

Dorothy Monet, Print ad for Coca Cola. This Week Magazine. September 1, 1957.

Dorothy Monet, Print ad for Old Gold Cigarettes. Collier's Magazine. June 29, 1946.

Dorothy Monet, "Bachelor Apartment" by Albert N. Williams. Collier's Magazine. August 17, 1946.

Dorothy Monet, Interior illustration for Women's Home Companion. September 1952.

Dorothy Monet, "Beautiful Thief" by Margaret Culkin Banning. Women's Home Companion. February 1953.