Stephen Kroninger
Gluyas Williams
  I first began seeing Gluyas Williams drawings in collections of Robert Benchley essays back in high school. I've admired his work ever since. I was, and am, a huge Marx Brothers fan. In reading about them I found mention of Robert Benchley whom I never heard of. Curious, I started searching for his writings in used book shops. Finding them I also found Gluyas Williams. Thanks, Groucho.
 GLUYAS WILLIAMS was born in San Francisco in 1888. His early schooling was in Germany, France and Switzerland, and he was graduated from Harvard in 1911. While in college, Mr. Williams was art editor of the Harvard Lampoon, where he first knew Robert Benchley, Frederick Lewis allen and others who were to play a part in later life. After a year abroad Mr. Williams drew for the Boston Journal and Boston Evening Transcript and was art editor of the Youth's Companion in boston until 1920.
 Through the encouragment of Charles Dana Gibson and others, Mr. Williams began to submit to the old Life and other magazines. In 1923 he began a syndicated newspaper drawing (Fred Perley) which he continued for twenty-five years. He (was) widely known for his New Yorker drawings and for his illustrations in many outstanding humorous books...(The Gluyas Williams Gallery, 1957)

selections from "HOW TO GUESS YOUR AGE"
 Text for the drawing on the cover: It seems to me that they are building staircases steeper than they used to. The risers are higher, or there are more of them, or something.
Text: Another thing I've noticed is the small print they're using lately. Newspapaers are getting farther and farther away when I hold them, and I have to squint to make then out.
Text:  Everything is farther than it used to be. It's twice the distance from my house to the station now, and they've added a fair-sized hill that I never noticed before.
Text: They don't use the same material in clothes anymore, either. I've noticed that all my suits have a tendency to shrink, especially in certain places such as around the waist or in the seat of the pants...
Text: Even the weather is changing...Snow is heavier when I try to shovel it.
Text: ...rain today is wetter than the rain we used to get...
Text: ...I stopped for a moment and looked at my own reflection in the mirror. They don't seem to make the same kind of glass in mirrors anymore.

 This post only scratches the surface of Williams's prolific output. The illustrations he contributed to books alone would keep me scanning well beyond my own appointed time with the grave.
This post was inspired by a recent dinner with a few friends including Jonathan Barli, author of VIP: The Mad World of Virgil Partch. He runs ROSEBUD ARCHIVES which has begun republishing some of William's work in beautiful editions. I recently ordered "The Wide Open Spaces---Panorama Cartoons by Gluyas Williams." Every page a masterpiece printed on 12x16 stock. You'll find this and much more at their site.
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