Above, two mixed media paintings by Noble Curry (Approximately 16" x 20")
Two small pages from a sketchbook feature a loose watercolor scene on the left, and a pencil drawing on the right.
Above, two mixed media paintings by Noble Curry (Approximately 16" x 20")
Two small pages from a sketchbook feature a loose watercolor scene on the left, and a pencil drawing on the right.
Noble was a prolific artist starting when he was a documentary platoon artist in WWI. Here are more photos taken by me in June, 2016 during my visit with Noble's grandchildren in Pennsylvania.
Finally, two black and white etchings show an early interest in depicting the human face with a range of expressions:
For those who are interested, a stone lithograph is a print "pulled" from a finely ground slab of limestone on which the artist has drawn primarily with an oily crayon-like pencil. The stone is then carefully processed so that where the oily drawing was, a fine lithographic ink adheres when it is rolled onto the surface by hand. The process requires considerable finesse and knowledge of chemistry. To create a multi-color print in this way also requires the ability to visualize overlapping colors and textures. Noble Curry, being both a highly skilled drawer and painter, was able to do this with dramatic success.
The small image on the left is a Thanksgiving card my grandfather painted for my sister in 1949. Through the 40's and 50's, Wylie worked for a man named DuGar, in Cleveland, who I believe owned a sign shop. This small card is reminiscent of signage styles of the era. Wylie's personal artwork, as far as I know, consisted mainly of portraiture in oil. While his brother Noble worked as an abstract painter, Wylie's work remained highly representational. This fact contributed to the two brothers' disinterest in one another's work.
The whimsical trompe-l'oeuil painting of a cupboard with a hen and her chicks was a departure for my grandfather. Painted in 1967, it was completed the year that my grandmother Mabel Curry died. This picture was one of the few my father elected to keep after the death of his father. The sketchy quality of Wylie's brushwork on this painting is unlike the heavier application of paint typical of his earlier work. The lights and darks are still distinct and easily read, however. My father may have selected this painting to keep because he enjoyed the novelty of subject matter and the composition, with its slightly canted angles and the subtle, earthy color scheme.
In 1970, Noble Wilbur Curry painted one final abstract picture that is the latest dated painting of his that we have knowledge of. Bold strokes were layered dramatically using a strong color palette. Noble's health soon made it difficult for him to continue to paint, and his studio was essentially closed up. He was an avid reader, and an amateur astronomer, so he was not without other engaging interests. He remained very interested in the artistic impulse, and was interviewed in 1974 for the Cleveland Plain Dealer article on WPA artists.
In the late '60's, Wylie was teaching oil painting classes at The Barton Center in Lakewood, Ohio, where he met his future second wife. He and she married in 1968. Wylie sold his Lakewood, OH, home, and together he and his new wife Lydia moved to The Westerly which are apartments affiliated with the Barton Center.
Found tucked into The Westerly publication, this publicity photo shows my grandfather standing with a priest from a church in east Cleveland. Lydia wrote on the back of the photo that Wylie donated these works to the church.
Wylie Warren Curry unexpectedly died in 1977, while he was taking his usual afternoon nap. His brother Noble Wilbur Curry died four years later, in 1981, after a period of illness. The widows of the two artists became friends after the losses of their husbands. Now, in 2012, the large family of Noble's children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren all live with his paintings, drawings and prints in their homes. My sister Kathleen and I own our grandfather Wylie Warren Curry's paintings, all of which have been published on this site.
Recently, I have been contacted by an individual who has likely located one more of Wylie's paintings; I am waiting to hear more from him. We all also hope to hear from those who may know of Noble Curry's 80 unaccounted-for WPA artworks. Please email me with any information if you are reading this and know of any of these pieces!
Thank you, especially, to the members of Noble's family for your ongoing interest and support in this project. I will continue to add features to this web site. Since I last posted a chapter, I have listed the documented exhibits Noble participated in. Please click here for that list.
"I’ll say something here about abstract painting – I wonder what we mean by abstract painting. I see it as a gradual sharpening of the artist’s power to express himself, his keener insight (also physically speaking) into the “real,” the paring away of more and more of the non-essential, - he no longer finds it necessary to build up the object he paints to a stage where it’s normally recognizable."
This excerpt is from Noble Curry's written essays, the date of writing unknown, on the nature of abstraction and modernity in mid-century painting. To read the full text of his essays, please click here.
During the 1940's, Noble's paintings and prints were becoming increasingly abstract, but some elements were still identifiable (in particular, faces). By the time the 1950's arrived, his art was identified as Abstract Expressionist. He painted in his home studio in North Olmstead, Ohio, producing canvases of heavily textured paint, some of which incorporated printed paper and cardboard. In March of 1953, Noble's paintings and those of an artist named Bret Eddy (I found no information about him after an internet search) were featured in a gallery show in New York City. The name of the gallery was Creative. Two reviewers described Noble's exhibited work in contemporary art journals. This reviewer, writing for The Art Digest, seems to have understood Noble's painting:
Noble Curry piles newspaper bits, torn cardboard strips and gobbed pigment into striking paintings of black and white impact, although other colors, Rouault-like, are discernible in the ensembles. He digs into dark turbulent areas to reveal other colors beneath, and, in a final resolution, presses broad white layers over the darker ones to achieve a highly charged spatial synthesis, powerful and plastic.
In another publication, the author of this review wrote with similar insight, referring to both artists represented in this show:
Eddy and Curry, both newcomers, combine forces in a show of opposites. Noble Curry, from Ohio, is the more forceful and more assured, and his abstract compositions (in heavy impasto shaped like putty) of plaster and oil incorporate torn composition board, newspaper and surfaces scratched so that the underlying board curls in an added texture. These compositions seem Non-Objective at first glance, but with study the irregular shapes and crushing wedges of white coalesce with dark linear rhythms to suggest images of amorphous heads.
In reading Noble's essays, I sense the intellectual challenge my great uncle undertook in describing his own painting and what artistic impulses he responded to. To convey in words such a deep and personal activity is something many painters don't even attempt. While he refers generally to painters who worked abstractly, I felt he was indeed describing his own creative process in words we might understand. According to Noble's daughters, he stayed in touch with fellow artists. I wonder if they exchanged their written thoughts on becoming "modern" artists early in the era of abstract styles.
“Modern Art” to begin with is only a term certain forms of art expression are identified with. The steady flow of man’s learning and his great advancement in other fields of knowledge is responsible for “modern art.” It came about simply because of man’s search for more interesting things to do. Noble W. Curry
All of the artwork depicted in these articles belongs to the family members of Wylie W. Curry and Noble W. Curry, who reserve all rights to reproduction of the images. If any reader should know the whereabouts of any additional artwork by these two painters, please contact me. Thank you!
My grandfather, Wylie Warren Curry, was the father of three children. His firstborn, Jean, was a happy child if all the photos of her in childhood reflect her true nature. I never met Jean, as she succumbed to a liver infection one month short of her 13th birthday, in 1927. It is through the old family photos that I know her, and through the portrait of her painted by Wylie shortly before her death. We in the family assume that he painted this from life, with Jean dressed as a gypsy and sitting as a model for her father.
Above is a photo most likely taken by my grandmother while the family played on the shore of Lake Erie. Wylie, appearing very serious as usual, has squatted down to be at the same level as his children (left to right) David, Charles (my father), and the gleeful Jean.
On the back of the photo to the left, my grandmother wrote: The last snapshot I have of Jean. At the age of 12, Jean was hospitalized for an extended period, and never returned to her home in Lakewood.
Below, the portrait of Jean as a gypsy reveals her to be a poised young lady in good health and with a sweet demeanor. It is a lovely tribute to the aunt I never met. Below the portrait are more notes.
This painting is in oil, and measures 18"x24". It is not dated, but there is an exhibit entry form taped to the back, showing that my grandfather did participate in juried exhibits. This painting in particular shows Wylie's strength as a painter: he applied bold, glowing color with confident brushstrokes. A beautifully balanced composition allows the viewer's eye to travel around the canvas, taking it all in.
I know little about my grandfather's personal art practices outside of the basement painting studio he kept after his retirement. It was common for him to dress himself up in costume and paint self-portraits: he would wrap his head and become a sheik, or donn a hat unlike his usual fedora and paint himself with somewhat sinister expressions. Preferring to paint faces with character, he also painted several portraits of Abraham Lincoln.
Several family members have been interested in reproductions of this portrait of Jean. Therefore, I had the painting photographed and digitized and have had beautiful giclée prints made from the photograph. If you would be interested in ordering one, please contact me by clicking on "email me" at the top of the right hand column.
All the paintings featured here are owned by members of Noble Curry's family. Please request permission to reproduce them in any form.
The controversial but successful program of the Franklin D. Roosevelt presidency, the Works Progress Administration (WPA), part of the New Deal, funded the Federal Arts Project (FAP) as a specific artists' assistance program from 1935 to 1943. Previously unemployed artists in this program were paid to create artwork for tax-supported public buildings and spaces. This allowed thousands of American artists to earn a modest but consistent amount of money during the Depression. Noble Curry joined the WPA in 1938 as a ditch digger, but somehow the word spread that he was an artist and he then joined the other artists in the Federal Arts Project in the Cleveland area. In an interview printed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on February 24, 1974, he was quoted as saying that he earned $28 dollars per week as an artist working for the WPA/FAP from 1938 to 1941.
Each state staffed and administered its own FAP. To learn more about Ohio's program and the artists working within it, please click on the link below to hear a very interesting radio interview and read a related article published on September 15, 2011 by WKSU Radio at Kent State University:
(Thanks to Darcilla Olshavsky, one of Noble's great-granddaughters, for this link.)
Once completed, the artwork created by all the artists, including Noble's, became the property of the government. Sometimes the artists knew which cities their work was sent to, but not always. In Noble's case, some 80 works he created during his years of work in the program are unaccounted for. These artworks include paintings in watercolor and oil, and some fine art prints. Some eight of his artworks were sent to Washington, DC to be installed in public spaces. The family of Noble Curry would like to know the whereabouts of any of his FAP pieces, so if you are reading this and know of any of them, please email me (at top of right column). Any information would be most appreciated! Some of the work may be in private hands now, and some still on display in public buildings, still hanging on administrative office walls, or stored in closets.
In 1939, Noble's painting style was becoming more abstract, which was uncommon among his Ohio peers. In the Plain Dealer article, he states, "I was doing abstracts, and a lot of Clevelanders weren't ready for that in the '30's." Perhaps the endorsement of his work that came with his participation in the Federal Art Project allowed him to flourish as a painter. His work became bold, confident in its brushstrokes, and rich in color and composition. Artists hired into the program were often those whose style of work was not particularly sellable in the '30's and '40's. Noble was in good company; other painters in the program included Thomas Hart Benton, Mark Tobey, Diego Rivera and Jackson Pollock.
By 1939, Noble and his family had moved into a home in North Olmsted, Ohio where he had space to paint. The Plain Dealer article also quotes, "Sure those were tough days, but we still had a lot of fun. We'd meet at each other's houses. I still keep in touch with old-timers like Stanley Cough, now in White Plains, NY, and Frank Fousek in St. Louis." Noble often expressed a desire to know where his FAP artwork ended up. To that end, we hope these articles provide awareness of his work and subsequent contacts with his family.
Left: Self-Portrait, Noble Wilbur Curry, oil, 1936
Right: Noble Wilbur Curry, Head of Man, oil, date to be confirmed
1927 was a significant year for both Wylie and Noble Curry. At this time, my grandfather had moved with his family to Cleveland, Ohio after working for several years at the D.L. Auld Company in Columbus. My great uncle Noble and his wife and first child, Georgeanne, also lived in the Cleveland area. In 1927, Noble's second child, Daniel, was born. He was now father to two children, and Wylie was father to three.
Neither brother created very many artworks featuring their family members, but Noble did a number of portraits of his wife Margaret ("Peggy"), and when Daniel was a few years old, ca. 1931, Noble did this etching of his wife reading to their son.
Once the stock market crash of 1929 occurred and the Great Depression began to take hold, American Home Builders, where Noble had worked for several years as a bookkeeper, folded. During the years that followed, Noble worked on his art at home, but not much sold. The family moved several times during this period, with some of the apartments having studio space for Noble, but not all. Peggy was a hard-working wife and mother, sometimes working two jobs in order to insure that the family's needs were met. Throughout their marriage, she was supportive of Noble's deep calling to being an artist. She understood this, and her understanding allowed Noble to follow this path without undue worry about consistent wage-earning on his part. During the Depression years, Peggy baked bread to sell, and also did sewing for customers.
1927 was a year of heartbreaking loss for Wylie Curry and his wife Mabel. The daughter they adored, their first-born child named Jean, died of liver disease at the age of 12 years, 11 months. I will feature my aunt Jean in a later installment. As I mentioned at the beginning of this family history project, she was the subject of one of Wylie's best portraits. And because I have very little of my grandfather's artwork to incorporate within these posts, I will hold off on publishing the portrait of Jean for the time being. Noble's family members have generously sent many images of Noble's work to me, so I will be including as many of these as possible.
I don't know where my grandfather worked at the time of Jean's death. I only recently learned that his previous employer, the D.L. Auld Co., where he designed medals, insignias and jewelry, was in Columbus, and not Cleveland. When the Depression hit, times were very difficult for many Ohio residents. According to the web site for Ohio History Central:
The Great Depression especially hurt Ohioans. In Ohio, by 1933, more than forty percent of factory workers and sixty-seven percent of construction workers were unemployed. Approximately fifty percent of industrial workers in Cleveland and eighty percent in Toledo were unemployed. In 1932, Ohio's unemployment rate for all residents reached 37.3 percent. Industrial workers who retained their jobs usually faced reduced hours and wages. These people had a difficult time supporting their families. Many of Ohio's city residents moved to the countryside, where they hoped to grow enough food to feed their families.
My father told me that to help put food on the table, my grandmother took in ironing. It was humiliating to my father to have to deliver by bicycle the freshly ironed clothes to the customers. My grandfather continued to do commercial art for whatever company brought him to Cleveland from Columbus, but he was paid erratically and never in full for the work he did. Eventually, he would take a job with a different employer named Du Gar, at which time the steady income resumed.
For both artists, then, the early 1930's were difficult and uncertain as they were for so many citizens of Ohio and the nation as a whole. The two brothers and their wives figured out ways to survive through their artwork and other creative means. Noble's third child, Mary, was born in 1931. Later in the decade, Noble would create hundreds of artworks for the Works Progress Administration (the WPA). This prolific period would lead him to become an "extremely contemporary artist," as the Cleveland Plain Dealer would call him some years later. I will write about this in my next installment.
The etching shown below is in the keeping of Noble's daughter, Mary (Curry) Shirley.
One of five landscape etchings known to have been done by Noble Curry in the 1930's. He would soon tend toward successively more abstract paintings and prints. (My apologies for the glare in the frame glass.)
My thanks to the family members of Noble Wilbur Curry for supplying images of his artwork and details of his life. Please do write to me with corrections and additions to these writings. If any other readers of this family history know the whereabouts of any artworks by either brother, we in their families would like to hear from you.
Spotlight on One Work by Wylie Warren Curry
On a June day of this year, Beth Smith of Chagrin Falls, Ohio walked into a chain thrift store in North Randall, Ohio. An art enthusiast, she was keeping her eye peeled that day for interesting artistic items. Lying inconspicuously on a shelf was a painting. She picked it up, admired the colors and bold brush work, and saw the signature: Wylie Warren Curry. Immediately, she Googled the name in hopes of identifying the painter. Her hope was to possibly bring the painting together with a member of the painter's family. As luck would have it, her query was directed to the first installment of this family history blog created just the month before. Unlike his brother Noble's name, Wylie's name did not have a web presence prior to my writing about the two brothers. Beth bought the picture for half the marked price. It was 50% off day at the thrift shop.
Beth wrote to me within days of finding my grandfather's painting. "I have one of your grandfather's paintings," she typed. She asked what paintings of his I owned. I replied immediately, assuming that at sometime in her past, Beth had bought or been given one of Wylie's numerous portraits. But when she
wrote that the painting was of a mountain, and that she had recently found it in a thrift shop, I was intrigued. I didn't know of any landscape painting my grandfather had ever done. After spending time trying to identify where the mountain was located, Beth spotted a shred of paper clinging to the back of the painting. A bit of pencil writing revealed that this was a painting of Yosemite National Park's famous Half-Dome, a massive stone mountain soaring up from Yosemite Valley in California. This revelation surprised me; when had my grandfather ever been to Yosemite? When I was a child in Seattle, my Curry grandparents only visited once, and they traveled directly by train from Cleveland. Was it true, then, that my grandfather left Ohio for a time so that he could be a "vagabond" and ride the rails? Did he leave during the Depression so that he could paint his way across the great West? I had heard through a cousin and my mother that he had done this, but until now have had no evidence of it. Neither of them knew any particulars about this period of my grandpa's life, and my father never mentioned this to me. This painting provides a possible clue, some pictorial evidence, that he stood in awe of places far from his Ohio homeland, and painted them.
Soon, Beth had the painting packaged and shipped to me. What a generous act. I could not be happier to own a second painting, and such an atypical one, by my grandfather. My family now has a total of four of his oils, so I am exceedingly grateful to Beth Smith. To any future readers of this family history, please contact me if you know of any artworks by Noble Wilbur Curry or Wylie Warren Curry that are in private hands or in a museum. We all wish to locate as many as possible. Thank you.
Below is the full painting (16.5" x 20.5") of Half-Dome by Wylie Warren Curry. Please scroll down to read a commentary on the painting technique of this work and the panel it was done on .
When a painting is done in one sitting, with the paint applied wet-into-wet, it is called alla prima painting. For a brief commentary on this classic technique, click here. For a plein air (on-site, outdoor) painter, this technique is ideal. Paintings done using the alla prima approach have a fresh, impressionistic appearance with no fine, fussy detail. The painting reads well from a distance, the brushstrokes blending through the viewer's eye, the lights and darks of the image being distinct. In this painting, look closely at the row of trees at the base of Half-Dome. Confidently made with a wide brush, the strokes hardly look like trees, but from a distance, is there any question that they are trees? Where the light hits the top of Half-Dome, several warm, light colors are in each creamy stroke. The cool blues and lavenders of the shaded stone are unnatural, yet read without a doubt as cool shade.
One final note: the painting is done on a Masonite panel. This material was invented in 1924 (see a reader's comment posted below) and soon was adopted by painters as an alternative to stretched canvas. Would my grandfather have carried cut panels of Masonite with him as he explored the west? More economical than canvas, Masonite would also travel well. Ultimately, it is fortunate that Half-Dome was done on a panel. What appear to be knife slashes appear in quantity on the lower half of the painting. What befell this artwork? How did it end up in a thrift shop in North Randall, Ohio? Will I ever find out if my grandfather, who was an excellent provider, actually left home to seek adventure as far west as California?
(Postscript, May, 2013: Last month I removed the frame of this painting in order to have the image scanned professionally. With a magnifying glass I could see that what looked to be a smudge of paint under the signature was in fact a date: 1962.)
If you, the reader, can offer more clues or help locate more paintings by Wylie and Noble Curry, please email me (click at top of right column). Thank you!
Left: A recently recovered early painting by Wylie Warren Curry, Half-Dome, Yosemite, possibly 1930's. This painting was found in an Ohio thrift shop in June, 2011, and shipped to me by the finder. She identified WWC through a Google search that brought up this blog. I'll write more about this painting in my next post.
In 1920, The Great War was over and a new era began in the United States. Prohibition was in effect, women were granted the right to vote, and a two-year economic depression from 1920-1921 affected industry and economic stability. Birth rates dropped, and immigration numbers slowed. It was a time of change and growing modernity.
By 1920, Noble Curry had completed the illustrations The History of Battery C. He worked for his father's insurance company after returning from service in France and Germany. It was also at this time that he attended art classes at the Columbus Art School. Sometime in 1920, seeking further art education, Noble moved to New York City to study at the progressive The Art Students League® of New York. One of Noble's teachers there was John Sloan, a painter with strong convictions about drawing and painting in a freer style, a non-academic approach to artwork. Reading about John Sloan helps give us insight into Noble's development as an artist. I recommend reading the illuminating profile of Sloan by clicking on his name above. Very few of Noble Curry's artworks, many of which are in the private collection of his family members, were dated but two drawings identified as having been done while he was a student at the The Art Students League belong to one of his grandchildren. Here is one: the back view of a female model rendered in charcoal, the long-standing drawing medium of choice for studio drawing.
During this period, Wylie Curry continued to work for the jewelry and medallion company. He did the rendering for the 1925 World Series winners, The Pittsburgh Pirates.
A review of available photos of the two brothers led me to guessing that the picture below of Noble plowing (uncharacteristic, it would seem!) was taken in the 1920's. I know that the photo of my grandfather Wylie was taken ca. 1925. In my next article, I will portray the two brothers as they survived the Depression and continued raising their families and doing artwork to help sustain them through very difficult times.
Above: Noble Wilbur Curry, ca.1920's
Right: Wylie Warren Curry, ca. 1925
1917-1918: Noble Wilbur Curry
The United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, thus entering World War I just 19 months prior to the signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1918. A draft was created, war funds were raised through various means, and American servicemen were mobilized to fight on the allied fronts in Europe. The War had been in progress for three years. My great uncle, Noble Wilbur Curry, was 23 years old, unmarried, and eligible as a Class 1 draft candidate. Written records show that he was immunized in 1917, trained, and sent to France with the rank of Private in the U.S. Army, Battery C on June 12, 1918. The steamer arrived at the port of LeHavre, France, by June 28. This is the date of the first sketch in Noble's Skizzenbuch (Sketchbook), an illustrated journal of his active duty in France and Germany. When his artistic talent became evident to his commanders, he would become the battalion artist, keeping a record of battles and marches in his Skizzenbuch.
Above, a detail from one of Noble's battlefield sketches that was published in The History of Battery C by Frank L. Zimpher, published in 1919 by F.J. Heer Printing Co.
Battery C fought at Verdun, France, but not in the historic 1916 battle that took place there. In Noble's Skizzenbuch, he wrote that the first shot was fired on October 6, 1918. Above is one sketch he made of the Verdun area. All the sketches in his book were obviously done quickly, but with skill. No doubt he had but a few minutes to capture a scene. A deft way of working quickly served Noble very well.
Nov. 3, 1918. Zimpher [author of the book about Battery C] and I slept in a small dugout in the foreground of this sketch after a day's travel through this shot-up country. The Yanks drove [the German soldiers] through here at a Hell-gait a few days before we arrived. An American buried in the foreground. A German shell bursting near a road on the left.
Above: this comprehensive battle drawing, the detail of which is at the top of this page, was completed in 1919. Another particularly fine drawing in this series, drawn from an interesting perspective from above and behind, is shown below (blue areas at the bottom are reflections in the framing glass).
Following the armistice, Battery C and many allied troops participated in the "March to the Rhine." In this drawing, weary foot soldiers, horses, and riders trudge to an old bridge that will take them across the Rhine river. On November 26, 1918, Noble wrote:
Stopped in small town (Brouch) near here a week or more. Slept in hay mow. Fine sleeping, but very miserable in daytime--cold and wet, no place to go and warm up. Wood very scarce. Men hungry half the time--poor food supply. Getting better now. This march to the Rhine is harder and more tiring than days spent at the front.
Noble would spend five additional months in Germany, France and Luxembourg after crossing the Rhine on December 14, 1918. He continued to make drawings in his sketchbook, and possibly completed the more developed drawings for The History of Battery C. The last entry in his sketchbook is dated April 4, 1919. Noble returned to the U.S. on May 22, 1919.
My heartfelt thanks to Georgeanne Curry Frawley and Mary Curry Shirley, Noble's daughters, for access to his artwork. To family members and other readers: please comment with corrections and additions if they are needed.
1917-1918: Wylie Warren Curry
At the time war was declared on Germany, the economy in the United States was healthy and the Progressive Era was affecting both social and industrial elements in significant ways. The war had not yet sapped resources from the country because of the late entry into the European war. It was this healthy economy that allowed my grandfather, Wylie Warren Curry, to find work as an artist.
Above, a rendering of the stylized bust of Chief Obbatinewat, the logo for Shawmut Bank, established in Boston in 1836. This bank was widely recognizable in Greater Boston over the next century and a half.
In 1917, Wylie was a married man of 28 with a 3 year-old child, my Aunt Jean. He would have had a temporary deferment from the draft. Employed as an illustrator for a company that made jewelry, cast medallions and enameled metal pieces, his skills at rendering dimensional images became finely honed. His skill at lettering was probably learned both in school and on the job, but as a lettering artist myself, I admire his artful lettering design integrated with his illustration. Grandpa once told me that for this kind of work, he would sometimes use a brush that consisted of one hair.
The age of the automobile was in full gear in 1917. Winther Motor Trucks, a new company in Kenosha, Wisconsin, began production of a rear-wheel drive truck. Whether Wylie designed the original logo I don't know, but here is his rendering of it for die makers to follow in producing the metal piece that would be mounted on the trucks. Below, a full-page ad for the new trucks appeared in The Literary Digest of March, 1918.*
Right: the Schwinn bicycle company was thriving in Chicago in 1918, producing both motorcycles and bicycles. An Admiral model is still being manufactured by the company. Wylie's rendering of this headplate was probably from this era, but I haven't yet located an example of it on a bicycle. The Celtic-inspired capital "A" creates a strong central logotype in a balanced design.
In 1919, Noble returned to Ohio after the war, and my grandfather would become a father for the second time, to Charles, my father. Noble married in 1923, and would become a father to Georgeanne in 1924. Both brothers would continue working as artists, but their philosophical differences about the role of art in earning a living would eventually inpact their relationship and contribute to driving them apart. In my next installment, I will focus on their lives and artwork of the 20's.