GOLDEN ERA ILLUSTRATOR MAC CONNER


"Killer In The Club", 1954

After a New York exhibit ("Mac Conner: A New York Life") at the Museum of the City of New York, the House of Illustration in London hosts a major exhibition of work by artist McCauley "Mac" Conner, whose illustrations defined America's golden age of advertising.
Born in 1913, Mac Conner grew up in his father's general store, fascinated by Norman Rockwell's illustrated renditions of an immaculate, suburban, consumerist, misogynistic and bleached out post-war America. He sharpened his skills while in the army, and soon started working commissions for prestigious magazines and clients (Saturday Evening Post, General Motors…). His Photoshop-free, immaculate and glamorous  gouache style has made a resounding comeback thanks to TV series Mad Men (MCNY nicknamed Mac Conner "the original Mad Man").

"Don't Be Like Me", 1953

Watch this 2014 interview with Mac Conner, produced by MCNY and the Norman Rockwell Museum

From his 5th Avenue grand old apartment, illustrator Mac Conner told Telegraph journalist Hermione Hoby: “We artists think in terms of spirit, if you will – the soul – the little mistakes that the camera never makes. The camera is right on the button – sharp, highlights on the nose just right and everything is so damn right. And we illustrators, we don’t like that. There’s no humanity in a camera.”

"All The Good Guys Died", 1950

➜ Read more: "Meet the real Don Draper", Daily Telegraph
➜ Mac Conner exhibit at House of Illustration