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 Weston Taylor  (1881 - 1978)

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Lived/Active: Pennsylvania/New York      Known for: book and magazine illustration, charcoal drawing

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following information was posted online at Ink-Slinger Profiles, Wednesday, August 10, 2011 by Allan Holtz, comic strip historian.

Henry Weston Taylor was born in Chester, Pennsylvania on May 11, 1881, according to his World War I and II draft cards. He was the oldest of three sons born to Barnard and Martha, as recorded in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. They lived in Upland, Pennsylvania on Upland Avenue.  His father was a professor. A family tree at said Taylor married Emma Louise Pendleton in 1901. An entry in the American Art Annual, Volume 28 (1931) said he was a "pupil of [Henry] McCarter and [Thomas Pollock] Anshutz" at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Who's Who in American Art, Volume 2 (1938) said he was a "pupil of McCarter and [Hugh] Breckenridge." Who's Who in American Art (1953) said he also studied at Drexel Institute, known today as Drexel University.

In 1910 Taylor and his wife resided with her father, a widower and banker at a trust company. They lived in Upland at 2 Seminary Avenue. His occupation was an illustrator for periodicals. American Art Annual said he did "illustrations for the Saturday Evening Post, Red Book, Ladies' Home Journal, Elks Magazine, American Boy, MacLean's, etc.

The Delaware County Daily Times
(Chester, Pennsylvania) profiled Taylor on May 11, 1976. The article said he and Norman Rockwell "worked together at the Saturday Evening Post years ago." He signed his World War I draft card on September 12, 1918.  He was a commercial magazine illustrator at 524 Walnut in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  His description was tall and slender with blue eyes and black hair.  Weston illustrated a number of books by Octavus Roy Cohen, including Come Seven (1919), Polished Ebony (1919) and Highly Colored (1921).

The family, which included a daughter and son, remained at the same address in 1920. Taylor, an illustrator, drew the 1923 comic strip, Tempus Todd, which was written by Octavus Roy Cohen.  The 1930 census recorded the Taylors at the same location where he continued as an illustrator. Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928-1999 has a list of some of his comic book credits from 1939 to 1942. He signed his World War II draft card on April 27, 1942. His occupation was magazine illustrator.

Following are excerpts from the Delaware County Daily Times profile of Taylor, on his 95th birthday.

"That's one thing about my work," he explains. "I like to have every painting tell a story." It could be in the languid nudes of his "Clair de Lune" or it could be the impending battle between a moose and wolves in a blizzard.

And there's one thing about Wes Taylor. Regardless of the increasing frailties of age, he's still full of life.

He still paints five or six hours a day. It might take him a day or a week to complete a work but whatever the time, there's one thing certain. He's already got the next painting in mind."

Taylor continued to paint until his passing on April 8, 1978, according to a family tree at

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following recollection is from Maryann DiMeo:

I recognize the style of the illustration that you display of Weston Taylor as his from many that I saw in his home.  He lived in a house that became encompassed by the grounds of Crozer-Chester Medical Center (CCMC) in Upland, Pennsylvania.  My father, the late Raymond E. Phillips of Chester, PA., worked for CCMC for many years including the time frame of the 70's when the hospital came to own the Taylor house, while allowing Weston to continue to live there.  They became great friends.

On many occasions, my father would take me to visit Weston on Sundays, and I loved to listen to him speak about his life and he would show us what he was working on. Although I am sure that he is best known for his gorgeous illustrations for The Saturday Evening Post and other magazines, most of them very slick and elegant, he mostly painted landscapes and portraits in his later years.  While he could, he loved to travel to Canada and camp outdoors often sketching and even painting while he was there. He actually had an Indian guide and his guide named him after the bird the loon (I'm sure it must have a more flattering name in his dialect). Weston would sometimes use a bird symbol along with his name in depicting this Indian given name, which he embraced.   
He was friendly on some level or other with N.C, Andrew, and Jamie Wyeth.  He was an avid Hamm radio operator, always eager to speak to people around the world and learn more from them, in a time well before the internet was dreamed of.  He was a true delight to listen to.  

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