h1

Appreciating the Art of M. Leone Bracker

November 13, 2018

Several years back, as I was digging through online archives of magazines from the early 20th Century, I kept coming across the fascinating drawings of an illustrator, named M(urray) Leone Bracker.

I haven’t been able to uncover much information about him other than he had a younger brother, Joseph, who was also an illustrator with a very similar style, so they must have agreed that Joseph would sign his name differently as “J. Henry” (Joseph Henry Bracker.) I only recently learned that the “M” stood for “Murray.” It appears that he was born in the late 1800’s, and I assume he began his illustration career around 1900. The earliest work I’ve seen was dated 1909, and the latest was advertisement art from 1928.

He seemed to prefer charcoal as his medium of choice; although, I have seen at least one painted magazine cover. The realism of the rendering shows what appears to be a strong photo reference with high contrast lighting. The staging and poses of his figures generally have a theatrical melodramatic characterization. His work is very unique for illustrations of this time, and wonderfully drawn.

Below is a selection of a few more examples of his art. I’ve found story illustration from books and magazines, as well as posters.

If you want to find reproductions of his art, look for magazine issues of Scribner’s, Hearst’s International, and Collier’s around 1910 – 1930. He also illustrated books for Bruno Lessing and Arthur Roche, among others.

Advertisements

One comment

  1. Fascinating! I love learning about illustrators of the past. Thanks for sharing 🎨



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: