(1892 - 1959)
William Andrew Loomis was born in Syracuse, New York on June 15, 1892, but was raised in Zanesville, Ohio. In 1911 he studied with Frank Vincent Dumond and George Bridgman at the Art Students League in New York City. In 1915 he was a student at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Though always inclined toward art as a child, Loomis was set on an artist’s career after a visit to the studio of Howard Chandler Christy.
After service during World War I, Loomis was employed in Chicago by the Charles Everett Johnson Advertising Art Studio, later for Bertch and Cooper. Eventually opening his own studio, Loomis produced editorial and advertising illustration, as well as outdoor twenty-four sheet posters. His only cover for The Saturday Evening Post appeared in 1935. He taught at the American Academy of Art in Chicago in the 1930’s.
In addition to being an illustrator and teacher, Loomis was a creator of “how-to-do-books” on drawing and painting for illustrators, like Viking Press publications Fun with a Pencil, 1939; Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth, 1943; and Creative Illustration, 1947. In 1951, Successful Drawing was published (it re-appeared in 1961 as Three-Dimensional Drawing). Drawing the Head and Hands was published in 1956. They were all immensely successful. Loomis’ last book, Eye of the Painter and Elements of Beauty, posthumously published in 1961 (he died in 1959), unlike his earlier instruction books, is filled with examples of fine art, but little of his own work.
Loomis was active in Los Angeles in the 1920’s and, after many years in Chicago, he returned to Los Angeles in the late 1930s. He remained there until his death on May 25, 1959.
Biography from the Archives of AskArt
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