Franklin Booth's Art and Life: The Colors of Black Lines

Franklin Booth's Art and Life: The Colors of Black Lines
Thomas E. Rugh, PhD

Franklin Booth's Life ArtFranklin Booth's Life Art"As a man, Jay Franklin Booth found himself in both a rural world of glorious beauty--full of blue skies, billowing white clouds, meandering creeks, tall trees stretching heavenward, villages populated with neighbors, friends and lovers--as well as a teeming metropolis, bursting with humanity in all its many dimensions, amidst towering buildings straightening
themselves higher and higher. Bringing the landscape and values of Mid-America's heartland to New York City, the nation's cultural capitol, like Janus, Booth's imaginative art co-joined these two disparate spheres of the twentieth century."
So began my mid-2011 article "Billowing Clouds, Towering Timbers: Franklin Booth's Art and Life," in the Indiana Historical Society's magazine Traces. In the young 21st century, John Fleskes published Franklin Booth: Painter with a Pen (2004, 2007, now out of print) with 100 pages of the Hoosier artist's black-and-white pen- and-ink illustrations, citing sources and dates. And Manuel Auad's Franklin Booth: American Illustrator (2006, now out of print) contained another 100 pages of his inked works, a dozen of his full-color pieces, and a brief 1950 tribute of Booth. These two volumes testified to current interest in the art of Franklin Booth.

Expanding the detail and doubling the count of the Fleskes/Auad illustrations, Franklin Boothmy e-book--Franklin Booth's Art and Life: The Colors of Black Lines-- benefits from never-before-published letters and materials collected from his wife, siblings, nieces and nephews. It contains another 200 pieces of Booth's art from his published illustrations, plus his newly-discovered Among Other Things with his latter-life sketches and reflections on stories within the Christian Bible.

This e-book also includes an endorsing preface from Walt Reed, a Phoenix Art Institute student of Booth and one of the nation's leading experts on the art of American illustrators. Google "Franklin Booth" on the Internet and you will discover--on the many blogs devoted to American graphic arts and cartooning--that he is one of the most admired of American artists today and has an international following.

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