Figural Abstraction in Red for sale
Item ID: 388312
Zuccaire worked in a style known as figural abstraction - were he used geometry to highlight the figure in the foreground by incorporating her into the geometry of the background. It was a popular technique in mid century painting. Here is an great example.
(May 5, 1909 - September 7, 2006)
Commercial artist, advertising executive, and painter.
Jacques Zuccaire was born in Montmartre, Paris, France, the son of Rebecca and Henri Zuccaire. As a young boy during World War I he and his siblings were all sent to southern France for their safety.
His artistic talent was evident at a young age and Zuccaire went on to win his first artistic competition in Paris, France, around 1919 at the tender age of ten. Zuccaire himself recalled his early influences - touring through the Louvre and walking past the many displays created by street artists in Paris. He came to America in the early 1920’s and was raised first in Manhattan (on East 6th Street) and later moved to the Bronx where his family, including his two surviving brothers (Paul & Michael) and a sister, Estelle, lived on White Plains Road. In their youths all three brothers enjoyed boxing for recreation.
Jacques Zuccaire first studied art in New York City as a teenager at Cooper Union (where they had an art program for immigrants) and again later at the Art Students League. He also studied with famous still-life artist Robert Brackman (1898-1980) with whom he would maintain a life-long friendship, and possibly with the painter Robert Philipp (1895-1981).
In the late 1920’s he used his training to get his first job as a commercial artist. Not long after, he lost this job in the early days of the great depression. Eventually he secured a position with the advertising firm of Lennen & Mitchell. By 1942 he was appointed to oversee the agency's national accounts and in 1945 he was promoted to vice-president and executive art director.
Zuccaire left Lennen & Mitchell in 1947 to assume the post of vice-president in charge of art and production at Robert W. Orr & Associates. In 1949 he moved to Ted Bates & Co. to serve as a member of their art director's staff.
But his greatest contribution was to the Lionel Corporation, where he worked from 1945 through 1964. He would rise to become a vice-president of the Lionel Corporation and served as the Advertising Manager for Lionel Trains from 1954 – 1964. During this period he also operated his own advertising firm in New York City .
Zuccaire promoted Lionel trains to a whole generation of American children. As early as the 1950's he would prepare sketches for the covers of the Lionel Catalog. Then Lionel would commission various artists to complete the different portions of the designs depending on the subjects involved (trains, people, etc.). It was his idea to market model trains for girls too, a program in which he used his daughter, Jacqueline, as a model.
He is known for designing two of Lionel’s most notable advertising items. One was created in his years before he joined the company and it was known as the Swinging-Lantern sign. The sign included a memorable trainman with a lit lantern in his hand that swung back and forth. Another major design was the creation of the new Lionel mascot used during the 1950’s on many items and catalogs made by the company – a winking lion with a blue stripped cap and red kerchief. One advertising publication called the very successful Zuccaire "a suave Frenchman."
His many years associated with Lionel made him well known throughout his industry. In one case he was able to secure a major publicity coup for the company which ended up being featured in Life Magazine in 1959. At the next board of director's meeting the members passed a motion commending Zuccaire for what they called "his splendid work.” Zuccaire would also re-introduce Lionel to radio and television in the mid-1950’s, utilizing celebrities such as Harpo Marx and Carol Burnett (her first television appearance).
Following his retirement, Zuccaire threw himself into his own artwork – taking more classes and creating still-life, figurative, and landscape paintings in great numbers. Many of these works were exhibited at the Art Students League on a regular basis (where he was honored with a Life Membership), as well as at other locations.
Listed below are just a few of the institutions and galleries at which Zuccaire’s works are known to have been exhibited: Fertility Research Foundation, NY, 1981 (solo); James Hunt Barker Galleries, Palm Beach, FL, 1986 (solo); Art Students League, NY, c. 1978 – 2006, 2007 (solo, memorial); Phyllis Lucas Gallery, NY, c. 2007; Old Print Center, NY, c. 2007; Franklin 54 Gallery, NY, 2008.
Jacques Zuccaire was featured in several publications and books during his lifetime, including Classic Toy Trains Magazine (2000); and the books The World's Greatest Toy Train Maker: Insiders Remember Lionel (1997); All Aboard: The Story of Joshua Lionel Cowen & His Lionel Train Company (2000); and The Art of Lionel Trains (2003).
He was an ardent supporter and advocate for the Fresh Air Fund, which sent disadvantaged city children to summer camp and was a long time member of the Turtle Bay Association. Jacques Zuccaire died on September 7, 2006 at the age of 97, a much loved and respected executive, designer, and artist.
Eras: 1900s / 20th century, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s
Condition: Excellent Condition
Designer: Unknown designer
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