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 Earl Somers Cordrey  (1902 - 1977)

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Lived/Active: California/New York      Known for: magazine illustration-romance genre, desert landscape painting

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Ad Code: 4
Earl Somers Cordrey
from Auction House Records.
Man Kissing Woman's Neck
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following biography, submitted February 2004, is courtesy of his daughter, Sandra, whose references include material from the Palm Springs Public Library, by Dean Horst.

-Born September 6, 1902 in Piru, California.
-He grew up Los Angeles, California.
-After high school, he studied at the Chouinard School of Art in Los Angeles, early 1920's
-Earl was a freelance artist in the Sam Hyde Harris studio, in L.A. working for major magazines.
-He married his wife Catherine (Kay), August 1, 1926
-He and Kay moved to New York City, 1927

-Studied at the Grand Central School of Art in New York City, (late 1920's,early 1930's)
-Worked as a professional illustrator for the Hearst's Magazines (Cosmopolitan, Redbook, ect..) during Prohibition, into 1930's.
-His only child, a daughter, Sandra, was born May 6,1933
-Worked as a commercial illustrator for Crowell/Colliers Publishing, (Collier's) doing drawings for magazine covers, and short stories, most notably, writer, F Scott Fitzgerald, (1930's-1940's)

-In New York, he also was a free-lance, illustrator and painter, mostly of the romance genre.  He did many post cards of the famous Stork Club.  He also did regular covers, for American Weekly magazine.

-In 1942, he moved back to Southern California, to escape the hectic city life, for a more calm Palm Springs desert life.
-During the later 1940's he continued his illustrations for postcards, books, and magazines, and painted for his own pleasure.
-He helped start the Palm Springs Life Magazine, as art director, and was their original logo creator.(early 1950's)

-Earl was a regular at the Veteran's Hospital, (formerly the El Mirador), where he would sketch many WW II patients, to boost spirits.
-He also designed the city of Palm Spring, CA. official seal; he designed actor William Holden's famed Mount Kenyan Safari Club; he also did the original logo for the famous Thunderbird Country Club in Rancho Mirage, CA.

-In 1951, he retired from professional illustrating, and concentrated on desert paintings of their people and landscape.  He did watercolors, and oils, mostly on smaller canvas.
-During the 1950's & 1960's, he painted and taught, he also had a permanent show of oils and watercolors in Laguna, Palm Desert, and many cities in Mexico.
-He traveled back and forth through 1960's-1970's, from California to Mexico; he enjoyed painting Mexico, and the desert from many simple aspects, then selling them to the always increasing numbers of California residents.

-During the 1970's he painted and relaxed, mostly in quiet areas around Sonora, Mexico.

-He died August 16,1977, while vacationing in Newport Beach, Ca at the age of 74.

-Mr. Cordrey, was a member of many art societies, most notably the Society of Illustrators,(NYC); was chairman of the Palm Springs Desert Museum (1972), and held many posts in special art associations..
-His wife, Catherine died in 1992.
-His daughter, Sandra lives in Palm Springs, CA. Her children, and grandchildren have many of his works. His paintings, and illustrations are hard to find, mostly in the family collection, and small private collections.

-The Palm Springs Desert Museum, exhibits his art periodically.




Biography from Crocker Art Museum Store:
Painter. Born in Piru, CA on Sept. 6, 1902. Cordrey studied at the Chouinard Art School in Los Angeles and the Grand Central School of Art in NYC.

In Los Angeles he worked briefly in the studio of Sam Hyde Harris and as a freelance artist for national magazines. In addition to commercial work, he painted watercolor landscapes.

From about 1930 until about 1950 he lived in Palm Springs; he then moved to Sonora, Mexico where he remained until his demise in August 1977.

Member: Society of Illustrators (NYC). 1 SCA; WWAA 1947-62; WWPS 1951.

Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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