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Cooper, Fred G (1883-1962)

Fred G. Cooper studied at the Mark Hopkins Art Institute in San Francisco. He moved to New York City in 1904 to find work as a freelance artist. He created designs for New York Edison, Westinghouse, and the U.S. War Department, among many others. Cooper began an association with Life magazine in 1904, which lasted until the early 1930s, when he served as the art director. His First World War posters won high praise for their use of all lower-case hand lettering whose warmth and character obviated the need for additional illustration. Cooper was the original “clip art” cartoonist whose style influenced all the others in the field. He also designed dozens of clever monograms for people like Rube Goldberg, Milton Caniff and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Cooper also drew small spot cartoons, ‘cartoonettes’ as he called them, which were often little graphic masterpieces. He also contributed covers and full-page interior cartoons and illustrations.