Pulp Art Show at The Benton

This past weekend temperatures reached near 65 degrees and what a perfect day for a drive through the Connecticut countryside to go and see some original pulp cover art at the Benton Museum.

The museum is located on the UConn campus and offered a display of works by many well known ‘pulp’ artists.  There was also an exhibit of sensationalist type newspapers from the late 1880’s -1900’s along with a number of examples of the well known ‘dime novels’.  It was a thrill to actually see actual examples.

The paintings were a visual treat and quite instructive. I got to see one of my favorite paintings by James Allen St. John. It is the cover art for the April 1933 issue of Weird Tales and depicts an immense spectral tiger with riders atop a mountain looking down on some men on camel back. No paper image I have ever seen of this piece prepared me for just how beautiful and vibrant the color was and the application of the paint itself is simply lost in translation. Truly beautiful! Right next to it was a smaller piece he did for the December 1936 Weird Tales Cover depicting The Fire of Ashurbanipal by Robert E. Howard and then next to it was a Virgil Finlay and next to that a Baumhofer next to a Rozen next to a Herndon ….and it just kept going like that.

The next room had several works by Frank Paul for Amazing Stories and Wonder Stories. Then there was an entire wall of Shadow and Spider original cover artwork which was followed by a wonderful piece by Laurence Herndon for the Blue Book, November 1930 issue. This depicts Tarzan against a sun drenched ancient temple protecting the hapless female behind him. Overhead he sports an evil doer native and is just getting ready to throw his foe  into a pile of his buddies. Grand adventure!

A jaw dropping show of work and imagery that I certainly won’t forget. Below are some pictures of what we saw.