EARL HORTER: AN ARTIST'S ARTIST BY PAUL LEWIS Perhaps it is true that advertising has taken art from the garret and put it in penthouse studios. It is equally certain that artists have lifted advertising from patent medicine crud ity to the symphonic elegance of Steinway and Stehli. Which proves what? An air plane must have wings but an engine drives the wings aloft. When art began to be important to adver tising is a matter of some conjecture. As to the interest of artists in advertising, its begin ning is pretty well fixed by news of the fat check which a Royal Academician received from the soap people. This was a vast il lumination to the Paris ateliers because it suggested, for the first time since the revolu tions in Europe cut off Royal patronage, that one might be an artist without actually starv ing. Advertising men who have found the time to look into old files say that the entrance of so-called real art began to be apparent around the turn of the century. Then the work of some of the most celebrated draughtsmen be gan to shift from the front to the back covers. Then young men with genius in their pencils were tempted by steady pay envelopes to sit at drawing boards in advertising agencies and make layouts, lettering and sketches which were much easier to look at than anything done before. And about the same time it be gan to dawn on agency bookkeepers that financial sense was not entirely incompatible with artistic talent. One of the advertising establishments which set about to encourage art was the budding agency of Calkins and Holden, and one of the first young men to assist them in improv ing copy on the graphic side was Earl Horter. With Horter and Walter Fawcett on opposite sides of a table they had what Earnest Elmo Calkins fondly called "our Art Department." Anyway, they made some pictorial advertis ing history with Arrow Collars, Sunny Jim and Rogers Peet. That was twenty-five years ago when ad vertising salaries were not so bignor were the prices which the modern French painters asked for their canvases. And Earl Horter saw no reason why an artist should not own pictures as well as make them. With his first accumulation he went down to a Fifth Ave nue gallery and bought a painting by Matisse, which is one of three now in his possession. Skipping a qfuarter of a century for a min uteEarl Horter has just finished remodel ing, in a most modern manner, a very old house on fashionably sedate Delancey Street in Philadelphia. With black and gray and silver, and furniture which is art moderne in its strictest sense, he has given an appropriate setting to one of the most carefully chosen collections of modern paintings anywhere. In it he has twenty paintings of Pablo Picasso, a most complete and varied assort ment of this artist's anarchistic output. He has several bronzes and marbles of Brancusi, including the celebrated head obtained from the Quinn collection a couple of years ago. He has paintings and drawings by Braque, Kisling, Modigliani, Dufy, Cherico and other European moderns as well as some of the finest work of his very good friend, Arthur Carles of Philadelphia. 65

Advertising Arts en | 1930 | | page 85