The Posters of Will H. Bradley

B. Posters Designed by Will H. Bradley (Arranged chronologically by publication date.)

1894

B1 “The Chap-Book”

[Poster for The Chap-Book, Aug 1894] ‘The Twins.’ Two stylized women with bouquets. Two-color lithograph: red and green on tan paper. Chicago: Stone & Kimball, published August 1894. Signed lower left: “WILL H | BRADLEY ’94.” 14″ w. x 20½” h.

The First American Art Nouveau Poster.
Will H. Bradley’s first in a series of posters advertising the August issue of Stone and Kimball’s bi-weekly publication The Chap-Book is today known as the first Art Nouveau-style poster created by an American artist.

Herbert Stuart Stone and Hannibal Ingalls Kimball, Jr. were two Harvard seniors who established the publishing house of Stone & Kimball while still in school. The Chap-Book was meant to be a simple advertising vehicle for their wares.

In earlier issues, there were reviews of the controversial new artist Aubrey Beardsley’s work in The Yellow Book and for Oscar Wilde’s Salomé. The August 15th issue featured Beardsley’s works, of whom the two seemed impressed but befuddled. “He is too noxious to be quite amusing,” they wrote, “yet too humorous to be revolting.” In four years Beardsley would be dead at 25 years old from tuberculosis. His meteoric art career had spanned a mere seven years.

The sinuous linework of his English counterpart’s illustration ‘Jai baisé ta bouche Iokanaan,’ published in The Poster, served as a bar to emulate, if not surpass. Bradley mimicked the Englishman’s macabre Salomé style in his poster. A bit more chaste than Beardsley’s, Bradley’s take was new and different to American audiences. And much like Beardsley’s work, it was immediately criticized by the press.

“…the very funniest thing out is the ‘Chap-Book’ poster. No mortal man can possibly tell without deliberately investigating, what it means or what it represents. Ten feet away one would be willing to make an oath that it was a very, very red turkey gobbler very poorly represented. On closer inspection it seems to have been intended for two human beings, one at least being in a red gown very short at both ends.

“The remaining characteristics are very lightly outlined, hence the turkey gobbler aspect when seen a few feet away.”

Bradley’s imagery may have been inspired by Richard Hovey’s poem ‘The Shadows,’ from the August 15th issue:

Dumb as the dead, with furtive tread,
Unseen, unheard, unknown, —
And never a Gloom that turns his head
As they stride where I crouch alone!

For this is the grisliest horror there
As the brutal bulks go by:
Right on they fare with a stony stare
Nor heed me where I lie…

Indeed, he’d just started experimenting with the fluidity of Art Nouveau in his advertising illustration for William Blade’s The Pentateuch of Printing. Bradley did not oversee the printing of his poster (to ‘press-check’), but supplied the color separations and ink specifications. Printed in merely two colors, the design relied on the overlapping of translucent red and green inks to create the illusion of a third, dark tone.

By the next summer, Stone and Kimball were selling these posters for $1.00 each, double the price of their other offerings, which is the equivalent of about $30.00 in 2021.

“Of course, I have one aim—the grotesque. If I am not grotesque I am nothing. Apart from the grotesque I may say that people like my decorative work, and that I may claim to have some command of line. I try to get as much as possible out of a single curve or straight line.”

Ref: Arthur H. Lawrence, ‘Mr. Aubrey Beardsley and his art,’ The Idler, vol 11, no.2 (Mar 1897), pg 189; Union, 8; Bolton, pg 4; MCMA, 23; Whitehead, pg 8; Echo, 152; Bradley, 20; PAFA, 20; Bella-2, 18; Reims, 1139; La Forgue, pg 171; Sponsel, pg 198; DFP-I, 152; Wong, 1; Keay, pg 41; Margolin, pg 97; Lauder, 13; Bambace, pg 157; Koch, pg 188.

‘The Climax’ from Oscar Wilde’s Salomé, illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley, 1894 version. ‘The Climax’ from Oscar Wilde’s Salomé, illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley, 1894 version.

The Twins. The Chap-Book, August 1894

B2 “WHEN HEARTS | ARE TRUMPS | BY TOM HALL”

[Poster for the book by Thomas Winthrop Hall, Dec 1894]. Nymph and satyr among grapevines. Two-color lithograph: vermilion and green. Chicago and Cambridge: Stone & Kimball, published Dec 1894. Signed lower left: “WILL | H | BRADLEY.” 14 1/8″w. x 17 3/16″h.

Will H. Bradley designed the binding, decorative endpapers, title page, borders, and prospectus for this book. The poster was issued to advertise the third edition, published on 12 Dec 1894. The first Bradley poster for a Stone & Kimball book.

Hillier (pg 135) incorrectly stated that this poster was produced by 1890, an error that would later show up in DFP-I (150) and Keay, but Tom Hall’s book of verse was not published until 15 Mar 1894. Bambace dated the poster as ‘midsummer [1894] to advertise the second edition.’ Both Hornung and Koch correctly date it to December 1894 for the release of the third edition.

Ref: Union, 11; Bolton, pg 4; Quincy, 12; MCMA, 22; Whitehead, pg 8; Echo, 151; Bradley, 27; PAFA, 27; Reims, 1150; Kramer, pg. 204; DFP-I, 150; Wong, 22; Hornung, pl 2; Keay, pg 43; Margolin, pg 138; Lauder, 14; Bambace, pg 157; Koch, pg 188.

Thomas Winthrop Hall. When hearts are trumps. Third edition. Chicago and Cambridge: Stone & Kimball, published 12 Dec 1894.

When hearts are trumps cover

When Hearts Are Trumps poster, 1894
B2.1 Print from Les Maîtres de l’Affiche.

[o.p.f. Stone & Kimball, 1894, B2]. Two-color lithographic reproduction: vermilion and green on cream paper. Paris: Imprimerie Chaix, 1897. Signed in image, lower left: WILL | H | BRADLEY. Inscribed, lower left: Les Maîtres de l’Affiche PL.52. | Imprimerie Chaix | (Encres Lorilleux & Cie.). Embossed, lower right, with Maîtres de l’Affiche logo. Image 7 5/8″ w. x 9 5/8″ h., sheet 11¼” w. x 15½” h.

‘The Masters of the Poster’ series was originally issued in monthly installments by Imprimerie Chaix, the lithographic studio of Jules Cheret, from 1895-1900. Small reproductions of popular posters were offered in a more manageable — and affordable — standardized format for collectors. Subscribers received four prints a month, for a subscription price of $3.00 a year.

Les maitres de l’affiche, issue 13, plate 52 (Paris: Imprimerie Chaix, Dec 1896).

Ref: Maitres, 52.

When Hearts Are Trumps, Les Maîtres de l’Affiche, plate 52.
B2.2 Print from Les Affiches Étrangères Illustrées.

[o.p.f. Stone & Kimball, 1894, B2]. Two-color lithographic and letterpress reproduction: vermilion and green. Paris: G. Boudét, 1897. Signed in image, lower left: WILL | H | BRADLEY. Image 6″w. x 9″h., sheet: 8½”w. x 13″h.

‘Les affiches’ prints are not really mini-posters as sometimes advertised today, but are plates taken from copies of the book Les affiches étrangères illustrées, published in 1897.

Ref: Maurice Bauwens, Tadamasa Hayashi, Jules La Forgue, Julius Meier-Graefe and Joseph Pennell, Les affiches étrangères illustrées, G. Boudét, editor, (Paris: G. Boudét, 1897).

1897 Les Affiche title page

1897 When Hearts Are Trumps Les Affiche
B2.3 Print from Das Moderne Plakat.

[o.p.f. Stone & Kimball, 1894, B2]. Two-color stone lithograph and letterpress reproduction: vermilion and green. Dresden: G. Kühtmann, 1897. Signed in image, lower left: WILL | H | BRADLEY. Image 4¼”w. x 5 3/8″h., sheet 8¼”w. x 11 3/8″h.

Jean Louis Sponsel’s monograph featured 52 stone lithographs of contemporary posters. Today, plates are taken from copies of Sponsel’s book Das Moderne Plakat, published in 1897.

Ref: Sponsel, Jean Louis, Das Moderne Plakat, Dresden: G. Kühtmann, 1897.

1897 Das Moderne Plakat

When HeartWhen Hearts Are Trumps, Das Moderne Plakat, 1897

B3 “THE | CHAP- | BOOK”

[Poster for The Chap-Book, Dec 1894]. ‘The Blue Lady’ stands in a wood, holding a pair of skates. Two-color lithograph: vermilion and blue on ivory paper. Chicago and Cambridge: Stone & Kimball, published December 1894. Signed bottom right: BRADLEY. 14″w. x 20″h.

Bradley’s second in a a series of posters for The Chap-Book is also known as ‘The Blue Lady.’

Ref: Union, 9; Bolton, pg 4; MCMA, 24; Whitehead, pg 8; Echo, 153; Bradley, 21; PAFA, 21; Richmond, 18; Reims, 1136; Sponsel, pg 197; DFP-I, 157; Wong, 3; Hornung, 9; Keay, pg 41; Margolin, pg 105; Lauder, 14; Bambace, pg 157; Koch, pg 188.

Will Bradley, The Chap-Book [The Blue Lady], Dec 1894

The Masqueraders poster
B4 “THE EMPIRE THEATRE COMPANY | NEW YORK | IN HENRY ARTHUR JONES COMEDY | THE | MASQUERADERS”

[Theatre poster for The Masqueraders, Empire Theatre Company, New York, Sep 1894]. ‘The Masqueraders,’ three masked pierrots, a pan-playing satyr, and a woman in white. New York: Charles and Daniel Frohman, published September 1894. Signed. 28’w. x 10’h.

“Will Davis, manager of the Columbia Theatre…introduces you to Dan Frohman who commissions you to design a twenty-eight sheet stand for his brother Charles, who is about to open the new Empire Theatre in New York. So you design a poster for The Masqueraders, by Henry Arthur Jones. This is probably the first signed theatrical poster produced by any American lithographer. Then Dan suggests that you visit New York. You do, and meet Charles. Dan takes you to the Players for lunch. There you see show-bills set in Caslon. They influence all of your future work in typography.”

Ref: ‘Will H. Bradley, artist,’ Chicago Tribune, 30 Dec 1894, pg 33; Bambace, pg 157; Koch, pg 188.

The Masqueraders, Chicago Tribune, 30 Dec 1894, pg 25.

Illustration, Chicago Tribune, 30 Dec 1894

B4.1 Comprehensive Sketch

[o.p.f. The Masqueraders poster, Empire Theatre Company, 1894.] Pen, ink, and watercolor wash over graphite on board. Inscribed on verso, “for ‘The Masqueraders,’ Empire Theatre Company, New York, ab. 1894.” Sheet 19″w. x 8 7/16″h.

Original in the Will Bradley Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Gift of Fern Bradley Dufner, 1952.

Ref: Hornung, 3; Wong, 9; Koch, pg 45.


B5 “ENTERTAINMENT | FOR OLD AND YOUNG | GIVEN BY | NIXON WATERMAN | AUTHOR’S READINGS | WILL H. BRADLEY | ART SKETCHES | THE ENTERTAINMENT | CONSISTS OF A HAPPY | BLENDING OF POETRY | AND ART — MR. BRADLEY | DRAWS IN COLOR WITH | LIGHTNING RAPIDITY | BEING ACCOMPANIED BY MUSIC — MR. WATERMAN | READS SELECTIONS FROM | HIS WRITING WHICH | ABOUND IN HUMOR AND | PATHOS — THE | ENTERTAINMENT IS | ENTIRELY ENTIRELY ORIGINAL AND | ALL IN ALL | CHASTE | PLEASING | ELEGANT.”

[Poster for a live event, Chicago Press Club, Oct 1894.] Winged pegasus amidst leaves and vines. Signed, “Will H. Bradley.” 12″w. x 18″h.

Bradley designed a matching poster, program, and tickets for this event held at the Chicago Press Club with his friend and sometime-collaborator, Nixon Waterman.

Ref: ‘Will H. Bradley, artist,’ Chicago Tribune, 30 Dec 1894, pg 33; Bambace, pg 157; Koch, pg 188.

Ticket for an Entertainment Given By Will H. Bradley

Image Coming Soon

B6 “The | Chicago | Sunday | Tribune | New Years | No. Decem- | ber 30, 1894”

[Poster for the Chicago Tribune, Dec 1894]. Woman in swirling floral garden, contemplating the fleeting sands in an hour-glass. One-color lithograph: black. Chicago: Tribune News, published Dec 1894. Signed bottom left: “BRADLEY.” 17″w. x 23″h.

The first in a series of four successive weekly illustrations for the Chicago Tribune Sunday ‘Art Supplement,’ these large, Beardsley-inspired images were kept by many subscribers as ‘posters’. They brought Bradley’s name and new American Art Nouveau style to the forefront of many readers’ minds.

“It is a matter to be noted, by the way, in considering Mr. Bradley, that to an American daily paper is chiefly due the present fame he has here with the art-loving public. Though he had done a number of admirable cover designs for other periodicals, it was not until the Chicago Tribune printed, for four successive Sundays, full-page designs of his — a thing unprecedented in newspaper making — that the world at large heard the name of Will H. Bradley. It is from that time that his success is really to be dated.”

Ref: Chicago Tribune, 30 Dec 1894, pg 22; ‘Literary Shop Talk,’ The Journal (New York, New York), 5 May 1896, pg 4; Bambace, pg 157; Koch, pg 46.

Chicago Tribune New Years poster, 1894

B7 “NOW READY | THE INLAND PRINTER | CHRISTMAS NUMBER.”

[Poster for The Inland Printer, Dec 1894]. Woman in a decorative panel holding a candle. Lithograph, published December 1894. Signed: “WILL H. BRADLEY.” 10″w. x 12¼”h.; f.a. cover illustration for The Inland Printer, Dec 1894.

Will H. Bradley’s cover design for the 1894 Christmas number of Inland Printer spurred a flurry of new activity within the type manufacturing industry. Bradley licensed his Teutonic-inspired blackletter design to American Type Founders, who designed and cut the complete font as the ‘Bradley Series.’

He would eventually end up designing many typefaces for the company and later served as their art director.

Ref: Bambace, pg 157.

cover, Inland Printer, December 1894

Image Coming Soon

1895

B8 “The Chap-Book | Being MISCELLANY of Curious and Interesting Songs, | Ballads, Tales, Histories, &c.; adorned with a Variety | OF PICTURES AND VERY DELIGHTFUL TO READ; NEWLY | composed bt MANY CELEBRATED WRITERS; To | which are annex’d a LARGE COLLECTION of No- | tices of Books …”

[Poster for The Chap-Book, Jan 1895]. ‘The Poet and His Lady’ sit in a field. One-color lithograph: black. Chicago: Stone & Kimball, published January 1895. Signed lower left: “WILL H | BRADLEY ’94.” 14″w. x 20 ¾”h.

Bradley’s third in a a series of posters for The Chap-Book is also known as ‘The Poet and his Lady.’

Ref: Bella-2, 19; Reims, 1135; Sponsel, f.p.196; DFP-I, 155; Bambace, pg 157; Lowden, 21c; Koch, pg 66.

The Chap-Book, The Poet and His Lady

The Chap-Book 'The Poet and His Lady' poster by Will H. Bradley, 1895

B9 “THE CHARITY BALL.”

[Illustration for the Chicago Sunday Tribune, Jan 1895] Woman in box seat wearing a stylized floral gown. One-color lithograph: black. Chicago: Tribune News, published Jan 1895. Signed lower right “Will H | Bradley.” Image 11½”w. x 15½”h., sheet 17″w. x 23″h., f.a. ‘Art Supplement,’ Chicago Sunday Tribune (6 Jan 1895), pg 9.

Chicago Sunday Tribune ‘Art Supplement’ illustration commemorating the ninth annual charity ball held on Thursday evening, January 3, 1896, at the Chicago Auditorium Building (Louis Sullivan, 1889).

“One can almost hear the rustle of new gowns,” wrote one writer, and indeed the fashionista depicted in Bradley’s illustration seems to be the envy of all others. The fundraising event featured an orchestra of 100 musicians, military band, grand procession, dinner, and valet service for carriages. Proceeds raised benefitted local organizations Saint Luke’s Hospital, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Hahnemann Hospital, Visiting Nurses’ Association, School Children’s Aid Society, Chicago Charity Hospital, Kitchen Garden Association, Chicago Orphan Asylum, and McCowen’s Oral School.

Ref: ‘Ready for the music,’ Chicago Sunday Tribune (Chicago, Illinois), 6 Jan 1895, pg 4; ‘Ninth charity ball,’ The Sunday Inter-Ocean (Chicago, Illinois), 6 Jan 1895, pg 23; Bambace, pg 158.

1895 The Charity Ball Will Bradley

B10 “THE MASQUERADE.”

[Illustration for the Chicago Sunday Tribune, Jan 1895] ‘Carnival Time’. Masked couple within decorative borders. One-color lithograph: black. Chicago: Tribune News, published 13 Jan 1895. Signed in image, lower left: “WILL H BRADLEY.” Image 11½”w. x 15½”h., sheet 17″w. x 23″h.

Bradley’s second cover illustration for the Chicago Sunday Tribune ‘Art Supplement’ was also kept as a poster. It is reproduced in the The Modern Poster as ‘Carnival Time.’

Ref: Chicago Sunday Tribune (13 Jan 1895), pg 25; H.C. Bunner, ‘American posters, past and present,’ in The Modern Poster, 1895, pg 102; Bambace, pg 157; Koch, pg 46.

Carnival Time, by Will H. Bradley.

The Masquerade by Will Bradley
B10.1 Art Print

[o.p.f. Chicago Sunday Tribune, 1895, B10]. One-color zincograph reproduction: black. Signed in image, lower left: “WILL H BRADLEY.” Image 11¼”w. x 15″h., sheet 18″w. x 24″h., f.a. ‘Art Supplement,’ Chicago Sunday Tribune (13 Jan 1895), pg 25.

Ref: ‘Two Masked Women,’ Department of Prints & Drawings, Art Institue Chicago, 927.7742.

B10.1 Reprint, The Masquerade, 1895

B11 “THE DAWN OF PROSPERITY.”

[Illustration for the Chicago Tribune, Jan 1895]. Woman accepting an abundance of wheat from a winged angel, with the silhouette of Grover Cleveland in background. One-color lithograph: black. Chicago: Tribune News, published Jan 1895. Signed bottom left: “WILL H. BRADLEY.” Image 11½”w. x 15½”h., sheet 17″w. x 23″h., f.a. ‘Art Supplement,’ Chicago Sunday Tribune (20 Jan 1895), pg 25.

The fourth in a series of four successive weekly illustrations for the Chicago Tribune Sunday ‘Art Supplement,’ this one commemorating a brighter future due to Grover Cleveland’s efforts to bolster the U.S. economy out of its depression following the “Panic of 1893.” After the collapse of two major railroads and many businesses, national unemployment rates skyrocketed to up to 18 percent.

Ref: Bambace, pg 158.

The Dawn of Prosperity, by Will H. Bradley

B12 “NOW READY | THE INLAND | PRINTER | ST VALENTINE | NUMBER | FEBRUARY 1895 | 20 CENTS PER COPY. | FOR SALE HERE.”

[Poster for The Inland Printer, Feb 1895]. Woman with a guitar seated in the woods. Two-color photogravure: vermilion and dark green. Published February 1895. Signed: “BRADLEY.” 13½”w. x 22″h., f.a. cover illustration for The Inland Printer, Feb 1895.

You will often find these posters trimmed of the top and bottom sales text. This design was also made into a glass display sign for the trade.

Ref: Inland Printer, Oct 1895, pg 91; Bella-2, 24; Reims, 1147; La Forgue, pg 171; Sponsel, f.p.199; DFP-I, 160; Bambace 159; Koch, pg 87.

Cover, Inland Printer, Feb 1894

Now Ready, The Inland Printer St Valentine Number, Feb 1895

B13 “THE ECHO | CHICAGO’S NEW PAPER:: | IN WHICH WILL APPEAR A SERIES | OF COLORED FRONTISPIECES BY | WILL H. BRADLEY | FORTNIGHTLY HUMOROUS | AND ARTISTIC….”

[Poster for The Echo, Apr 1895]. Two women with a stylized tree in the background. Three-color lithograph: cyan, red, and yellow. Chicago: [prob. Ralph Meriman Co. Press], published April 1895. Signed in image bottom left: “WILL H BRADLEY.” 13½”w. x 20½”h.

The advance advertising poster for The Echo, a humorous literary magazine published twice a month from 1 May 1895 through 1 Feb 1897. Cover (or as they termed it, ‘frontispiece’) art was commissioned by artists of the day and used on its advertising posters. The first several issues featured chromolithographed art by Will Bradley on enameled paper.

In this poster, Bradley experiments with process color combinations of cyan, red, and yellow inks to create additional greens and blackish tones — without the use of black ink. You will find that copies of this poster have almost always been folded in half, causing cracks in the ink coverage along the crease.

Ref: Reims, 1143; La Forgue, pg 170; Sponsel, pg 198; DFP-I, 161; Bambace, pg 158; Koch, pg 188.

The Echo poster by Will H. Bradley, 1895
B13a “THE ECHO | CHICAGO’S | HUMOROUS AND ARTISTIC | FORTNIGHTLY”

[Poster for The Echo, May 1895]. Retail version with alternate text. Three-color lithograph: cyan, red, and yellow. Chicago: Ralph Meriman Co. Press, published May 1895. Signed in image bottom left: “WILL H BRADLEY.” 13½”w. x 20½”h.

Same poster as above, but with alternate subheading text and printer’s attribution, bottom right: “RALPH MERIMAN CO. PRESS.”

Reproductions of Bradley’s poster “in five colors announcing The Echo,” were advertised by the publisher in an 18″w. x 24″h. page size. That is, as explained above, five colors composed of three printing inks.

“Copies of this poster will be sent to any address, postpaid, in a tube, for twenty-five cents.”

Ref: The Echo, vol. 1, no. 1 (1 May 1895), pg 23; Bambace, pg 158; Koch, pg 101.

1895 The Echo full sheet

Example of untrimmed poster.

The Echo, by Will H. Bradley

B14 “RABONI!”

[Illustration for the Chicago Sunday Tribune, Apr 1895]. Christ and Mary Magdalene in a garden. One-color lithograph: black. Chicago: Tribune News, published 14 Apr 1895. Signed bottom left: “BRADLEY.” Image 11½”w. x 15½”h., sheet 17″w. x 23″h., f.a. ‘Art Supplement,’ Chicago Sunday Tribune (15 Apr 1895), pg 41.

Bradley’s fifth cover illustration for the Chicago Tribune Easter Sunday ‘Art Supplement’ was also kept as a poster.

“The picture ‘Raboni,’ drawn by Will H. Bradley for the Easter Sunday edition, was said to be the finest drawing ever to be produced in pen and ink.”

Ref: Phillip Kinsley, The Chicago Tribune, its first hundred years, (vol. 3), New York: A.A. Knopf, 1943, pg 264; Hornung, pl 14; Bambace, pg 158; Koch, pg 100.

Raboni! by Will H. Bradley
B14.1 Pen and ink drawing.

Original artwork in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


B15 “MAY | THE CHAP- | BOOK”

[Poster for Stone and Kimball, May 1895]. ‘The Pink.’ Nude woman holding cymbals, seated among flowers. Two-color lithograph: salmon pink and dark green. Chicago: Stone & Kimball, published, May 1895. Signed bottom “BRADLEY.” 16¼”w. x 22″h.

Look closely, and you will find the word ‘MAY’ hidden in the flowering background. Will H. Bradley’s fourth in a series of posters for The Chap-Book is also known as ‘The Pink.’

Ref: Reims, 1138; La Forgue, pg 170; Latimer, pg 160; DFP-I, 154; Bambace, pg 158; Koch, pg 678.

The Chap-Book, May 1895

B16 “THE | CHAP-BOOK”

[Poster for the Chap-Book, Aug 1895] ‘The Pipes.’ Goddess seen shoulder-high within bushes, holding pan pipes. Two-color lithograph: blue and green. Chicago: Stone & Kimball, published, August 1895. Signed: “Bradley.” 15″w. x 21 ¾”h.

The fifth Bradley poster a series of posters for The Chap-Book is also known as ‘The Pipes.’

Ref: Bella-I, 20; Reims, 1140; La Forgue, pg 170; Sponsel, pg 170; DFP-I, 156; Bambace, pg 158; Koch, pg 68.

The Chap-Book ‘The Pipes’ by Will H. Bradley, Aug 1895

B17 “SPRINGFIELD BICYCLE | CLUB TOURNAMENT | SPRINGFIELD MASS | SEPT. 11 AND 12, 1895.”

[Poster for Springfield Bicycle Club, Aug 1895]. Profile view of three cyclists, on a background of winged logos. Two-color lithograph: red and black. Springfield, Massachusetts, published August 1895. Signed “Will H Bradley ’95.” 12 ¾”w. x 19 ¾”h.

This design and Will H. Bradley’s ‘Pegasus’ poster (both probably created in the latter half of August 1895) explore repeating background elements in black and red. Poster and program cover both use the same design. Bradley designed posters for two years of this bicycle tournament, in 1895 and 1896.

Ref: DFP, 163.

Springfield-Bicycle-Club-poster

Tournament program covers.

Springfield-Bicycle-Club-poster

B18 “THE CHAP-BOOK”

[Poster for The Chap-Book, Sep 1895]. Jousting knight mounted on a winged horse, surrounded by an overlapping herd of flying pegasi. Two-color lithograph: red and black. Chicago: Stone & Kimball, published September 1895. Signed bottom left: “Bradley.” 14 ¾”w. x 21½”h.

The sixth Bradley poster in a series of posters for The Chap-Book is known as ‘Pegasus.’ Bradley also supplied an illustration for Gilbert Parker’s ‘The Sojourners’ in the September 1st fiction number.

Ref: Reims, 1137; DFP-I, 153; Keay, pg 16; Margolin, pg 99; Lauder, 22; Bambace, pg 158; Koch, pp 69.

The Chap-Book, 1 Sep 1895

The Chap-Book, 1 Sep 1895

The Chap-Book magazine, Sept 1, 1895

The Sojourners by Will Bradley

The Chap-Book ’Pegasus’ by Will H. Bradley, Sep 1895
B18.1 Comprehensive Sketch for ‘Pegasus.’

[o.p.f. Stone & Kimball, Sep 1895]. Tempera on paper. Unsigned. Sheet 8 7/16″w. x 19″h.

In fine arts, a painter creates a ‘preliminary’ or an ‘original study’ to work out details of a design. In advertising arts, a designer presents a ‘comp’ — short for ‘comprehensive sketch’ — to the client for review prior to completing the final reproduction art.

This painting shows Bradley’s initial thoughts on coloring the typography red to match the main subject. But the title gets lost in the complex design. At some point, Bradley or his client changed the main text to white for readability. Clearly, a necessary improvement. Because ultimately, the very reason for this poster was to sell The Chap-Book.

Original painting from the Stone & Kimball Collection, Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois.

Ref: Hornung, 3; Wong, 9; Rolf Achilles, ‘The Chap-Book and posters of Stone & Kimball at The Newberry Library,” The Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts, vol. 14 (Autumn 1989), pp. 64–77.

Original study for ‘Pegasus,’ 1895.

B19 “CHARLES SCRIBNER’S SONS | NEW YORK | THE | MODERN POSTER | ONLY ONE THOUSAND COPIES PRINTED OF WHICH THIS IS NO [*].”

[Companion poster to The Modern Poster, Oct 1895]. Blue peacock design. Two-color lithograph. New York: Charles Scribner’s, published late October 1895. Signed: “Will H. Bradley ’95.” 12½”w. x 19½”h.

Given with the purchase of the limited edition of Alexandre’s The Modern Poster.

Ref: DFP, 158; Bambace, pg 158.

1895 The Modern Poster AIC

B20 “THE CHAP-BOOK | THANKSGIVING NO.”

[Poster for the Chap-Book, Nov 1895]. Two women in red capes holding trays of fruit. Two-color lithograph: cyan and red. Chicago: Stone & Kimball, published, November 1895. Signed bottom left: “WILL H | BRADLEY.” 17½”w. x 21¾”h.

Will H. Bradley’s seventh in a series of posters for this periodical.

Ref: DFP, 151; Bambace, pg 158; Koch, pg 188.

The Chap-Book Thanksgiving Number

B21 “FRINGILLA | OR TALES IN VERSE | BY RICHARD DODDRIDGE | BLACKMORE M. A. OXON WITH SUNDRY DECORATIVE PIC- | TURINGS BY WILL H BRADLEY | CLEVELAND THE BURROWS | BROTHERS CO. MDCCCXCV.”

[Poster for book by Richard Blackmore, Dec 1895]. William Morris-style design of a woman seated in a wooded setting, within wide borders containing decorative vines. Cleveland, Ohio: Burrows Brothers, published December 1895. Signed “Bradley.” 7½”w. x 18½”h.

Ref: Bella-2, 27; Sponsel, pg 202; DFP, 159; Bambace, pg 158; Koch, pg 188.

Richard Doddridge Blackmore. Fringilla, or tales in verse. Cleveland, Ohio: Burrow Brothers, 1895.

Fringilla cover

First edition, Fringilla, 1895

Fringilla, 1895

B22 “HARPER’S | BAZAR | THANKSGIVING | NUMBER 1895.”
[Poster for Harper’s Bazar, Nov 1895]. Woman holding sheaves of wheat, within decorative border. Two-color lithograph: orange and dark olive green on salmon paper. New York: Harper and Brothers. Signed: “Bradley, Will H.” 11¼”w. x 16¼”h.

Artwork was used for both the cover and poster for the Thanksgiving issue of Harper’s Bazar.

Ref: Bambace, pg 159; Koch, pg 103.

Outer wrapper (cover 4 and cover 1), Harper's Bazar, Thanksgiving, 1895

Outer wrapper (cover 4 and cover 1), Harper’s Bazar, November, 1895

Harepr's Bazar Thanksgiving No, 1895

B23 “HARPER’S ROUND TABLE | THANKSGIVING NUMBER ’95.”
[Poster for Harper’s Round Table, Nov 1895]. Knight jousting a turkey. Signed: “Bradley.” 8¼”w. x 11¾”h.

Ref: Bambace, pg 159; Koch, pg 102.

Harper's Round Table, November 1895

Harper’s Round Table, November 1895

Harper's Round Table Thanksgiving Number, 1895

B24 “NOW READY | THE INLAND PRINTER | NOVEMBER.”
[Poster for The Inland Printer, Nov 1895]. Turkeys within decorative borders. Signed: “Bradley.” 10″w. x 12″h.

Ref: Bambace, pg 160.

Inland Printer November 1895 cover

The Inland Printer, November 1895.


B25 “HARPER’S BAZAR | CHRISTMAS | A.D. MDCCCXCV.”
[Poster for Harper’s Bazar, Dec 1895]. Woodland scene of shepherds and sheep, within floral border. Signed: “Bradley.” 11¼”w. x 16¼”h.

Ref: Bambace, pg 159.

Image Coming Soon

Cataloguing In Progress…

 

Citation: Lindsay, Martin S. The Posters of Will H. Bradley. Website: WillBradley.com. Accessed 02 Jul 2022, <https://willbradley.com/work/posters/>. Bibliography. References.