16.25″H x 23″W – lithograph
The Famished a limited edition lithographic art print by John Falter
Like many artists, John Falter (1910-1982) enjoyed drawing at an early age. However, unlike many of his contemporaries, he acquired professional job experience before even graduating high school. For a few years, Falter worked as a comic strip artist on a strip entitled Down Thru the Ages, for the local Falls City Journal, in Falls City, Nebraska. Seeing his potential, the journal’s cartoonist encouraged him to consider making illustration a career.
Falter heeded his colleague’s advice and went on to study art at the Kansas City Art Institute. After graduating, he won a scholarship to the Art Students League in New York City. His tenure there was brief, however, leaving the school to begin life as an illustrator by garnering work for pulp magazines. He split his time between these jobs and took classes at the Grand Central Art School.
Falter’s first steady job started in 1933 with Liberty Magazine. For $75 dollars a week, he was hired to create three illustrations weekly. Increasingly aware of the lucrative nature of advertisements, the artist began seeking opportunities for such work. Some of his regular advertising clients included Gulf Oil, Four Roses Whiskey, Arrow Shirts, and Pall Mall.
After securing a stable income, Falter opened a studio in New Rochelle, New York, where he was in close proximity to some of his close artist friends. New Rochelle was a popular destination for artists at the time; giants in the illustration field, including J.C. Leyendecker and Norman Rockwell, along with many writers, musicians, and actors, lived there as well.