Cabin art and Hy Hintermeister
This is a fantastic, well-preserved, original oil on canvas painting by the father-son illustration team of John Henry Hintermeister and Henry Hintermeister who collectively painted under the name Hy Hintermeister. A tremendous example of nostalgic Americana cabin art, this piece features a tender-footed camper who finds himself run up a tree by two bear cubs and a mama bear who have their eyes on the prize – the camper’s provisions. These types of situational nature mishap images really resonated with the public back in the day and have an idyllic nostalgia about them today. This piece, titled “Trouble Bruin” was published as calendar art by the Thomas D. Murphy Calendar Company out of Red Oak, Iowa. A published print is included in the sale.
This painting has been signed by the artists in the lower left of the image. It is housed in a vintage and likely original carved wood gesso frame that has been beautifully painted with soft shades of gold, brown, and blue which enhance the natural, outdoorsy colors of the painting.
This painting comes from the collection of esteemed illustration art collector Norman Platnick.
About the artist: John Henry Hintermeister
John Henry “Hy” Hintermeister was born in 1869 in Winterthur, Switzerland. After studying art at the University of Zurich, John turned down a teaching position in favor of immigrating to the United States where he found work as a courtroom artist for a local New York paper.
His successful courtroom works soon shifted focus to illustration and magazine cover art. He worked with several calendar art companies including Brown and Bigelow, The Osborne Co., Louis F. Kemper Thomas and American Art Works.
Referred to as John by his friends and family, he signed his art “Hy Hintermeister.” From the 1890s-1940s John, along with his son, Henry, worked together producing over 1,050 illustrations that were reproduced as prints and as jigsaw puzzles. Both artists used identical signatures making distinction of their work nearly impossible.
Both Hintermeister’s works display a sense of humor, whether depicting setter pups or friends’ fishing antics. They were a prolific and well-respected team.
About the artist: Henry Hintermeister
Henry Hintermeister was born in 1897 in New York.
His father John Henry Hintermeister was an illustrator as well. Father and son often worked as a duo, from the 1890’s to the 1940’s, under the pseudonym Hy Hintermeister. They became well known producing over 1,000 of illustrations; John Henry and Henry were often compared to Norman Rockwell with their illustration storytelling. The duo produced a series of calendars depicting American history from 1775-1787. They used identical signatures making their illustrations nearly impossible to distinguish.
As a solo artist, Henry Hintermeister is most know for American themed paintings as well as his paintings of animals.
The Legacy of Norman Platnick
In his New York Times obituary, Norman Platnick’s son Will said that his father had three passions in life, his wife Nancy, spiders, and collecting.
Few individuals have the chance to leave a mark like Norm’s in even one field, let alone two. But Norm managed to be both a celebrated scientist, and one of the most influential lay historians of illustration art.
Under his imprint Enchantment Ink, Norm researched, wrote, and published collectors guides to artists like Rolf Armstrong and Earl Christy. We at Grapefruit Moon Gallery rely on these books in our work, and they are now all freely available as PDFs through the Enchantment Ink website.
Norm’s expertise was a gift, his friendship was a treasure, and his legacy is immeasurable. He is missed.