Painting Over the Photos, Vol. 1: A Collector’s Guide to James Arthur

By Norman I. Platnick

Enchantment Ink is pleased to introduce the 26th volume in our series of full-color guides to American illustrators: Painting Over the Photos, Vol. 1: A Collector's Guide to James Arthur, by Norman I. Platnick. More than 17 years in the making, this new volume attempts to bring together all the calendar art attributed to James Arthur or the Arthur Studio. The book includes full-color images of the calendar prints, blotters, postcards, fans, boxes, china, trays, and pocket mirrors produced by Brown & Bigelow, Gerlach-Barklow, Kemper-Thomas, T. D. Murphy, and the Osborne companies, as well as smaller publishers, along with magazine and book covers. The volume features over 500 images, on 159 8.5x11 pages, with a detailed index and price guide. A biography summarizes what is known about Arthur’s life, and advances the hypothesis that the bulk of the calendar art attributed to Arthur and the Arthur Studio are actually paintings of Arthur photographs that were executed by Leonora Goddard, an artist employed at the Arthur Studio. Appendices list the copyrights filed, and provide samples of the Studio’s hand-painted photographs.

Click here to download this guide, for free.

A note from William Platnick

Hello Enchantment Ink visitor. On April 8th, 2020, the author of all these books, my father, Norman Platnick, died of complications due to a serious fall.

Words cannot describe the amount of pain my family is in right now. My father was a wonderful, humble, loving, passionate and intelligent man. He had 3 passions in life: my mother, spiders and collecting.

As a way of honoring my father's legacy in the illustrated artwork community, I will be turning as many books of his as possible into PDF files and distributing them online, for free.

If you have found these collector's guides useful, I ask that you make a donation to the Norman I. Platnick Memorial Fund, which will be setting up a scholarship in the field of arachnology, my father's career.

If you'd like to learn more about my father and his amazing life (such as skipping middle school and high school and going to college when he was 12), I'd like to lift up just a few pieces:

NY Times: Norman Platnick Obituary
Concord University Magazine Fall 2018: Friendly Neighbordhood Arachnologist page 20
NY Times: The Exciting Adventures of Spider Man
Daily News: NYC'S real-life spider man
NY Times: For Some, an Appliance; for Others, Art
The Wall Street Journal: Warming Up to Spiders

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