JIM HOWARD (1930- ) Dapper Urbanites. Fashion advertisement for the California-based department store, Bullocks, circa 1980s, with their stamp in lower margin. Mixed media, including charcoal, ink, wash, and gouache on paper. 390x485 mm; 15 1/2x19 inches, on 18x19 1/2-inch sheet. Signed "Jim Howard" in right center image.
Howard's four-decade career as a fashion illustrator began with advertising campaigns for Neiman Marcus in the late 1950s and extended through the height of the fashion illustration industry in the ‘70s and ‘80s until photography became the preferred medium for fashion brands. After his time at Neiman Marcus, where he was an in-house fashion illustrator and assistant artistic director at the Texas headquarters, he moved to New York City in the 1960s to become the artistic director of the department store chain Franklin Simon & Co. Howard eventually moved into freelancing and made a name for himself illustrating for major department stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bonwit Teller, B. Altman and Company, and Marshall Field's, where he created illustrations for fashion houses, such as Calvin Klein, Oscar de la Renta, Dior, and Yves Saint Laurent that were often published in The New York Times. The Denver Art Museum highlighted the award-winning artist's work in its 2018 exhibition "Drawn to Glamour: Fashion Illustrations by Jim Howard."
Howard's charcoal illustrations are visually appealing in their dramatic shading and use of active poses, emotive expressions, and detailed settings to create engaging narratives around the figures and their garments.