The American artist Jack Hamm (1908-1996) left a legacy of stunning illustrations and breathtaking paintings with his unmistakable artistic mark visible in all his works. Statuesque landscapes and vibrant portraits were chosen to grace the covers of magazines, newspapers, and books from renowned authors such as John Steinbeck and Ernest Hemingway. As a highly accomplished cartoonist, Hamm also contributed to the pulp fiction magazine industry.
John Hamm’s introduction to the art world began in Cincinnati, Ohio, whereupon he pursued a career as a commercial artist. Transitioning to New York City in the early 1930s, John attended the Art Students League to expand his horizons. As luck would have it, John was hired as an assistant to beloved cartoonist E.C. Segar – creator of the iconic “Popeye” characters – serving as a launchpad for his success. By the 1940s, John had become an illustrator for several notable magazines such as “Collier’s,” “The Saturday Evening Post,” and “Reader’s Digest.” He even put his skill and expertise to work on book illustrations for famed authors such as John Steinbeck (“The Grapes of Wrath”) and Ernest Hemingway (“For Whom the Bell Tolls”).
Beyond simply sketching illustrations, Hamm was a Renaissance Man in the realm of art – he crafted exquisite paintings, both in the realms of portraiture and landscape, and had his creations showcased at esteemed showings across galleries and in museums. But beyond his works themselves, Hamm also made notable contributions through his words – Several books that he penned about the art form were produced including “Drawing the Head and Hands” and “How to Draw What You See.”
Boasting a distinguished career, Hamm’s art garnered much admiration. From illustrated pages of well-renowned publications to gracing the walls of esteemed galleries and museums with his captivating paintings, the artist’s works were celebrated worldwide. He was also a successful author, writing several knowledgeable tomes about his beloved craft.
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