During the 50s, Bil Medcalf was one of Brown & Bigelow’s star illustrators, creating 12 page calendar series based around themes of classic Americana. Here, he evokes a classic 4th of July celebration with revelers enjoying a day at Riverside Park. From the soldier checking out the ravishing redhead disembarking her carriage, to the new parents cooing over their baby buggy, the scene evokes a vision of a simpler time, and a patriotic and nostalgic sense of 19th century America. This large, colorful, highly expressive oil on board with graphite highlights was created as the final preliminary painting for a published Brown & Bigelow calendar image. Each month likely celebrated a different patriotic landmark.
This large oil and graphite on board illustration is remarkably detailed for a preliminary artwork, and highlights Medcalf’s vast talent. Drawing from French expressionism to present a feeling of the day, its a vibrant example of Medcalf’s sophisticated approach to calendar art.