At the same time, 1964 – 1965 there was another studio in the other of the two Belli Buildings that was pouring out a lot of creativity.
The second floor, front, of 728 Montgomery Street was the workspace for Charles Felix, Dan Romano, Roy Gover and Sven Lindman.
I knew that Charles was from the UK, but I have read, more recently, that Charles Felix was from Bath, in Somerset, South West England. In the early 1960s he was in public relations and on his was to Hong Kong. He stopped here to explore the San Francisco Bay Area and this became his home.
In 1964 he was in the Belli Building and word was that he was pursuing the rights to build an English pub on the pristine and protected site of Muir Beach, Marin County. The authorities of the area were afraid that he was to create an “eyesore”. Charles had to battle long and hard to get approval and create the authentic 7-room roadhouse that stands there today. His creative talent was his vision and ability to find a very old pub in the UK that was to be demolished. Charles had it totally disassembled, put in containers and shipped to San Francisco. He also found a 70-year-old San Rafael hotel that was to be razed and he salvaged all of the antique beams and much of other wood. The Pelican Inn opened in 1978.
Dan Romano painted the sign for the Pelican Inn.
I saw the original painting in the dining room of the Romano house on Christmas night in 2012.
Dan Romano’s art was seldom in color. He was a master of pen and ink line work. If color was needed, he would convert his black line art to a film positive and then paint color on the illustration board attached behind the film-pos. Dan’s style was in great demand in publications before the halftone process was perfected for newspaper ads and editorial art. In those days, Norm Nicholson was teaching at San Francisco’s Academy of Art. Norm said that he showed Dan Romano’s fine lines and crosshatch style to his students so that they could aspire to such clean and very precise work. Norm : “Dan was a beautiful designer in all his work. He certainly inspired me ! What talent came out of S.F. in those days. Especially the black and white art.”
A lot of the SF artists socialized in the city, but Dan worked steadily at his drawing board through the day and then was home with his wife, Riva. They had had their home in Marin County designed and built by Joseph Esherick. The Romanos enjoyed a long-time friendship with Stan and Frances Galli who also lived in the same area.
Here, first, is line art for a winery (the names of client, agency, art director are unavailable). Scanned directly from Dan’s art, I could find no corrections on the 12” x 6” illustration.
Another original is this line and full color illustration of a truck. The examples that follow have been found at small size in ADASF 1963 – 64-65 Annuals where the halftone has blurred the clarity of the “Romano” line.
Roy Gover came to San Francisco from London by way of Toronto. He had worked in London and he had a strong commercial art background before arriving in the SF Bay Area.
Bob Bausch wrote recently, “Roy Gover and Sven Lindman were both good friends of mine, who I met when we all worked at “Patterson and Hall” (an art studio established in 1921 that promoted many artists new to San Francisco).
Roy had the valuable drawing talent to provide layouts (comps or comprehensives) for San Francisco advertising agencies such as Bonfield Associates. Because the agencies held his work, I never saw that side of his talent — but in 728 Montgomery St., between assignments, he was always painting. I have one of his paintings from that time. Later, he had shows at the SFMOMA and many fine galleries. Roy was “theatrical” and his creative talents were also presented in his recordings and humorous illustrations.
Sven Lindman was born in Hultsfred, Sweden and went to design school in Stockholm. He and his classmate, Lars Melander, were chosen by visiting “scouts” from Hallmark Cards to come to the states and share their talents with designers at Hallmark in Kansas City.
He stayed at Hallmark for a few years and then moved on to San Francisco where he worked at Patterson and Hall and did some freelancing at 728 Montgomery Street.
After five years there, he moved to New York City where he again free-lanced and later joined Sudler & Hennessey, Div. of Y&R as an art director. In 1985, he went on to Klemtner Advertising where he became Creative Director until his retirement in 2001.
Sven and his wife, Jean Davidson spent some time in Hawaii and then settled permanently in Menlo Park, CA.
Although the collection of his art is much larger, I am showing his work from the publications of the 1965 and 1966 ADASF Annual Exhibitions of Advertising and Editorial Arts and also the Sven’s promo folder when he was at the Patterson and Hall.