1904 – 1986
Theme/Style – Figurative art, landscapes, still lifes
Media – Oils, drawings, graphic work
Artistic Focus – Simon Vanderlaan was primarily a commercial artist and illustrator, whose sought-after artwork – including “pinup” images of seductive women – appeared in advertisements, calendars and album covers. However, his artistic range extended well beyond these subjects to striking, award-winning graphic work in posters, as well as original paintings and drawings, many of which he never chose to exhibit during his lifetime.
Career Highlights –
- Simon (“Si”) Vanderlaan was born in Muskegon, Michigan in 1904. In the 1920s he moved to Chicago, where he studied at The Art Institute of Chicago, and created theater posters for theaters in both Chicago and Grand Rapids, Michigan.
- He moved to Los Angeles in 1933, pursuing further study there at the Art Center School (now the ArtCenter College of Design) and the Chouinard Art Institute.
- Vanderlaan designed a poster for San Francisco’s Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939, and took prizes in poster contests for the Institute of Foreign Travel in 1936, the Advertising Club of Los Angeles in 1939, and for New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1941.
- He then began working as a commercial artist, including work for Walt Disney Productions from 1940 to 1945.
- From the late 1940s, Vanderlaan worked as a self-employed advertising illustrator and also taught art at Woodbury College in Burbank for nearly 20 years.
- Vanderlaan exhibited and won awards for his paintings and graphic art in shows for the Traditional Artists’ Association at the National Orange Show Fine Arts Gallery in San Bernardino in 1972, and the San Gabriel Fine Arts Association in 1973.
- Simon Vanderlaan passed away in Los Angeles in 1986. A very private man, Vanderlaan had kept most of his original artwork in storage, and more has become available since his passing.
Selection of Works by this Artist
Bibliographic references are available upon request.