I've previously written about Henry Raleigh (1880-1944), the famed illustrator best known for his pictures of the frothy lifestyle of high society in the Gatsby era.
Raleigh was so successful he became a swinging participant in the fashionable life himself. He traveled lavishly, treating groups of friends to ocean cruises. He also maintained a yacht, owned a mansion and kept a large studio in downtown Manhattan.
But until I read the new book about Raleigh by his grandson, I was unaware of Raleigh's art of social conscience.
In keeping with our recent conversations about illustrators who responded to politically troubled times with pictures about social injustice , it turns out that Christopher Raleigh's new book contains a whole chapter devoted to Raleigh's lithographs and posters dealing with war, famine and social injustice.
To be certain, most of the chapters of the new book are devoted to themes such as, "High Society: The Gatsby Era," "Romantic Interlude" and "Youthful Innocence." But Raleigh turns out to be equally effective with war posters and art designed to raise public consciousness.
I was pleased to see that Raleigh's grandson had access to numerous original Raleigh works for reproduction. Many of these images were not well reproduced in the magazines of the 1920s, and it's a treat to see for the first time what Raleigh really intended.