Douglass Crockwell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Douglass Crockwell
Born Spencer Douglass Crockwell
April 29, 1904
Columbus, Ohio, United States
Died November 30, 1968
Glens Falls, New York, United States
Occupation Commercial artist and experimental filmmaker
Spouse(s) Margaret Braman (1933–1968) his death; 3 children

Douglass Crockwell (April 29, 1904, Columbus, Ohio – November 30, 1968, Glens Falls, New York[1]), born Spencer Douglass Crockwell, was an American commercial artist and experimental filmmaker.[2][3][4] He was most famous for his illustrations and advertisements for the Saturday Evening Post and for murals and posters for the Works Progress Administration.[5]

Education and career[edit]

He received a B.Sc. from the Washington University (1926) in St. Louis and studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts (1927) and the St. Louis School of Fine Arts (1927–31).[6]

Crockwell's paintings have been featured in advertisements for Friskies dog food and in a poster for the American Relief for Holland. For the latter, he was awarded a gold medal from the Art Director's Club in 1946.

Poster for The Yearling


Crockwell created recruiting and other posters for various branches of the United States government during World War II, and many illustrations for The Saturday Evening Post.[7]

He also created poster art for the MGM film The Yearling (1946).[8]


In 1934, Crockwell began experimenting with non-representational films while balancing his career as an illustrator. He initially wanted to create flexible, low-cost animation techniques. In 1936–1937, he collaborated with David Smith, a sculptor, to create surrealistic films.[9]



  • Glens Falls Sequence (1937–1946)
  • Fantasmagoria #1 (1938)
  • Fantasmagoria #2 (1939)
  • Simple Destiny Abstractions (1939–1940)
  • Fantasmagoria #3 (1940)
  • The Chase (1942)
  • The Long Bodies (1947)
  • Mutoscope reels: Red (1949), A Long Body (1950), Random Glow (c. 1950s), Stripes (c. 1950s), Ode to David (c. 1950s), Around the Valley (c. 1950s)


Examples of his work are in the collections of the Pritzker Military Museum and Library, the Bangor Public Library, the Hennepin County Library, the George C. Marshall Library, among others.

Over the course of his career, Crockwell drew over four hundred full-page images; more than three billion prints of his works have been made.[11]

See also[edit]



  • Crockwell, Spencer Douglass. Douglass Crockwell. 1977. OCLC 79834005
  • Kettlewell, James K. The Art of Douglass Crockwell. Glens Falls, N.Y.: Hyde Collection, 1977. OCLC 13470694
  • New York Times obituary (December 2, 1968)

External links[edit]