Clarence Coles Phillips

Clarence Coles Phillips, 1880-1927

The Illustrators:

Clarence Coles Phillips (1880-1928), is best known for his “fadeaway girl” illustrations he created in the 1910s and 1920s.

Originally from Springfield, Ohio, Phillips attended school there before moving to New York to become an artist.

After three months of night classes at Chase School of Art, he started a small short-lived advertising agency. His watercolors first appeared in Life Magazine in 1907.

By 1910 he was creating magazine covers for Life using his popular device of blending the main figure's dress with the background color.

Working from life rather than photographs, Phillips frequently used his wife as a model for his popular covers for Good Housekeeping, Life, and many advertising illustrations for consumer products of the 1920s. He died prematurely in 1927 from a kidney ailment.

His artistic style in the 1920s supplanted the earlier post-Victorian “Gibson Girl” made popular by the illustrations of Charles Dana Gibson.

Phillips' uncluttered compositions, his strong sense of design and use of color keep his paintings as contemporary today as when he produced them.

His biography can be found on Wikipedia and other Web sources, as well as in many books.

Check the Image Galleries for more examples of the work of Coles Phillips.

Note cards featuring this art are available through Zazzle at the Windgate Time Machine.

Top of Page