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 James Bradbury Thompson  (1911 - 1995)

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Lived/Active: Kansas/Connecticut      Known for: Designer, art director

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born Topeka, 1911; died Riverside, CT, Nov. 2, 1995. Designer. Commercial artist. Teacher. Graduate of Washburn College, Topeka in 1934. Taught at the Topeka School of Art in 1938. While working on the art staff at Capper Engraving Company in Topeka, Thompson designed the 1938 rendition of "Mr. Ichabod" for Washburn that is still used today. From 1938-1962, Thompson designed Westvaco Inspirations for Printers, the arts innovative journal of the West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company. There he developed his unique style of design which included the experimental use of color, typography and photo reproduction. After World War II, he was a freelance designer in New York where he art directed Mademoiselle from 1945- 214 1972. Thompson also was design director of Art News from 1945-1972 and designed the format for some three dozen other magazines, including the Smithsonian magazine. He also designed a number of U.S. postage stamps and served for more than thirty years on the faculty of the Yale School of Art. He was the graphic designer and typographer for the Washburn College Bible (1979) and author of Inspirations for Graphic Design (1988). The Bradbury Thompson Center at Washburn, opened in April 1996, houses the operations of the Washburn Alumni Associationand the Washburn Endowment Association. Many of his papers are available at the California Institute of Arts in Valencia.
Art Directors Club of America Award, 1947; Gold T-Square Award from the National Society of Art Directors, 1950; Type Directors Club Medal, 1989; Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement from the American Institute of Graphic Arts.

Susan Craig, "Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945)"
Newlin, Gertrude Dix (Development of Art in Kansas. Typed Manuscript, 1951); Topeka Cap & Topeka J (Topeka Capital, Topeka J (aka Topeka J) newspapers?usually reports of the Kansas Artists Exhibition 1st= Topeka Cap Nov. 11, 1925 9th= Topeka J Nov. 11, 1933 2nd= Topeka Cap Nov. 10, 1926 10th= Topeka J Nov. 10, 1934 3rd= Topeka J Nov. 19, 1927 11th= Topeka J Jan. 7, 1936 4th= Topeka J Nov. 3, 1928 12th= Topeka J Nov. 11 & 14, 1936 5th= Topeka J Nov. 2, 1929 14th= Topeka J Jan. 22, 1938 6th= Topeka J Oct. 18 & Nov. 1, 1930 15th= Topeka J Mar. 10, 1939 7th= Topeka J Oct. 24, 1931 16th= Topeka J Feb. 2 & 10, 1940 8th= Topeka J Oct. 22, 1932 17th= Topeka J Mar. 8 & 17, 1941) (June 11, 1938); Obituary, New York Times (Nov. 4, 1995)
This and over 1,750 other biographies can be found in Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945) compiled by Susan V. Craig, Art & Architecture Librarian at University of Kansas.

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