I’m Just Wild About Harry…Great Westways Covers by Harry O. Diamond

I don’t know how you can look at an illustration by Harry O. Diamond (1913-2003) and not smile.  There is something so engaging about them in their almost primitive simplicity that make you feel as if you are viewing the work of a bright and imaginative child rather than a grown professional artist. And therein lay the genius of Harry O. Diamond. A brilliant artist and graphic illustrator, Diamond was much sought-after for his clever and insightful illustrations throughout the 1940’s-50’s and beyond with his work gracing a wildly diverse range of books from famous cookbooks by Helen Brown and James A. Beard to Mr. Klein’s Kampf or His Life as Hitler’s Double, an endless array of advertising art and countless magazine covers.

In the 1950’s, the editors of Westways wisely engaged Diamond, who was an L.A. native and Chouinard Art Institute graduate, to do a series of covers for them, that at least in my humble opinion, rank among the magazine’s very best, which is saying a great deal when you consider the amazing aggregation of talent that has lent itself to the illustrations of Westways over the last century.

Today, more than a half century after they were created, the Westways cover art of Harry O. Diamond remains as fresh and modern as ever, capturing the wonder of a world seen through the eyes of a child, a child that no matter how old we may become, can still be found somewhere within us. And that never goes out of style.

Try, just try and not smile as you look at the following. Enjoy!

June 1952

September 1952

December 1956

September 1955

December 1951

April 1951

February 1955

February 1956

December 1953

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7 Responses to I’m Just Wild About Harry…Great Westways Covers by Harry O. Diamond

  1. Dee says:

    I look through my Westways monthly magazines with more respect since reading your blog about them.

  2. Thanks for posting this nice article about my grandfather’s work. My family has a large collection of his illustrations. I’m looking for material for a project and wondered where you found these? Thanks, Heather G

    • Steve says:

      Thank you, Heather! What a treat to hear from the granddaughter of this talented artist! I’ve already replied to you privately in regards to your question, but i hope you will keep us all posted on the project you are working on. I’m sure a lot of people would love to hear all about it. Thanks again!

    • Jan Nix says:

      My first job in 1952 was in the Food Department at Sunset Magazine. I developed and tested recipes, including those for Chefs of the West, which were illustrated by your grandfather. My first edition of Cooking Bold and Fearless is spotless and a treasure. A few of the recipes I use occasionally but the illustrations make me smile.

      Jan Johnson Nix

  3. Pingback: Harry O’ Diamond « Design & Craft

  4. Robin says:

    I love these covers–great story!

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