Victorian Cover Art by Archie Gunn
This is a large format and racy (for the times) Victorian cover illustration for the long-running weekly periodical Truth Magazine. Created by illustrator Archie Gunn, this appeared as the cover for the January 13, 1894 edition with a title of “How Those Girls Love One Another”. Two girlfriends are pictured casually sitting in a parlor setting with additional interior story text on the cover that reads:
Clara – “Charlie Spooner called on me last night, and tried so hard to kiss me, but I wouldn’t let him”,
Maude – “Was He Angry”
Clara – “Very, he said he wished he had called on you.”
This is a large format watercolor and gouache painting on an illustration board it is matted but not framed. Illustration comes with a tear sheet of the published cover.
This illustration comes from the collection of esteemed illustration art collector Norman Platnick.
About the artist: Archie Gunn
Archie Gunn was a well known and popular illustrator, whose pictures where in leading periodicals. He was born in England and his father a member of the British Royal Academy. He first studied under his father in London. For a time he designed costumes for Gilbert & Sullivan productions. He also achieved success as a portrait painter; one of his portraits of Disraeli hung on the walls of Queen Victoria’s apartments.
After coming to America he worked as a magazine and newspaper illustrator. He also did several calendar paintings for the Gerlach Barklow Calendar Company.
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.