Inland Steel

Hal (Halber­stadt) photographed many subjects…even fire and soap-bubbles! Here, below, is the full series of a collab­o­ra­tion of Bruce Butte, Lowell Herrero, Bill Hyde and Milton Halberstadt…for Inland Steel. Hal’s spot­lights and shadows…a perfect touch!

These eight construc­tions were created at the Belli Building, 722 Mont­gomery Street in BH&H’s second floor studio…and photographed just a few blocks away in Hal’s studio on Vallejo Street.

It was 1964, and my first and only art studio employ­ment, when I witnessed this creation.

I felt lucky to have the assign­ment of gath­ering the elements for these fanciful construc­tions. I was sent to the costume, yardage and novelty store at the foot of Powell Street (someone will remember its name) for bits and pieces for the costumes. Then (I always chose to walk) I was sent to the huge, barn­like, hard­ware store on Battery Street to pick up some sheets of steel! When I arrived there, I found a variety, each at 3’ X 4’! They had only brown wrap­ping paper around the sides. Thinking that I could carry them, I headed back. I could carry them only a few feet and then I would have to rest…all along the route back to the Belli Building. I was afraid to split the load for fear of racing back to find the others sheets gone. (In 1964, a working girl wore a dress or suit. Shoes with at least a low heel but no athletic shoes in down­town San Fran­cisco and no cell phone to call for help). Entering the Belli Building gate…I didn’t have to take the flight of stairs, up to the BH&H studio. There was a freight elevator. Then just three steps up to the studio door. BH&H were (liter­ally) out to lunch, so they never new exactly how their purchase of the steel sheets was deliv­ered.

Being a “gofer,” recep­tionist, art supply purchaser, “luci” oper­ator, paste-up artist…and occa­sional illustrator…(I got to paint the tattoos on the “Tattooed Lady”) I believed that I was blessed to be working there, that year, before BH&H dissolved their part­ner­ship. It was the most wonderful expe­ri­ence for me. I would have never started my more than forty years of free-lancing if they had stayed together where I could’ve assisted them with their work.

Ann Thompson

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Creatives As Models

"Creatives" As Models

There were times, in front of the camera!

When a job required a model, at times the choice was someone in the graphic arts field who fit the need. Photographers might suggest using an artist, copywriter…maybe someone in an advertising agency that would be right for the shoot.

Not usually in front of a camera…the subject of a self-promo…would usually choose a photographer that they knew from previous collaborative assignments.

1A & 1B- These two promo pieces for Bruce Butte (art director / illustrator), Lowell Herrero (humorous illustrator /  painter) and Bill Hyde (lettering artist / designer) were photographed by Jack Allen (It may have been in Milton Halberstadt’s studio, Hal’ worked closely with BH&H on many local and national assignments.)

This (unedited) from Jack:

My God, I haven't seen that series I did for "the boys" in a long long time. I think it was some time near 1960-2 or so. I had used Herrero for a full-page color newspaper ad for S&W foods that won a gold award in the New York advertising show.
When I switched from art director to photographer I was still itching with creative juice and offered to do a mailer for the boys.
I came up with the "send the boys to camp" concept and they bought into the idea. We set up the shot and Bill Hyde showed up with a broken leg. The idea still worked so we went ahead. I can't remember where we rounded up all the props like the wig and dresses but we did. I think we rented them.  Bill Hyde did the lettering and the mailing did quite well.
There was no charge on my part as I was hungry to see my ideas surface. The same thing was true of all the geezers in those days. We loved what we were doing and were quite selfless.
I hope this works for you. Edit all you want....Jack

Ann,  I hate to say it but I can't remember if it was taken in Ken Bess Studio or the garage studio I had in San Mateo at that time. All I can remember is laughing at Herrero and his dress plus the mustache.
If it was in Hal's Studio my memory is even more shot than I thought. So much stuff has gone over that dam. It wouldn't hurt a bit to credit Hal's studio since so much is owed to Hal.    Jack

2  Dick Moore said that he set the camera with tripod on Scott Street and asked a friend to take the picture. Not happy with heights…someone held the back of Dick’s belt as he perched on the window ledge. (No Photoshop in those days.)

3  Wally Sommers as Superman !…Here, Jack Allen was the photographer. (This original poster is not available, so apologies to Jack Allen for the poor quality of this image…this was scanned from a 5” high image in the ADASF 17th Annual of 1966.)

4 Jane Kristiansen’s self-promo was sheet music (with lyrics by artist, Harriet Hunter). It was displayed in the annual ADASF show and publication of 1967. The back showed old photos and credited everyone who contributed their talents for Jane’s self-promo.


5  Alice Harth always looked “dressed for a photo”.  So there at Sunset magazine…(where she was the magazine’s food illustrator) when food was prepared and the décor was perfect, she posed (at right) as a guest.

6  Dick Cheney, who was creative director at Sunset, was also pulled into a party photo.


7A & 7B When Jack Allen (art director / photographer) handed over his presidency of the Art Directors and Artist Club of San Francisco to Gig Gonella (art director)…Craig Simpson took the photos for this two-sided poster. The top of the first photo was used again as a self-mailer inviting ADASF members to a surprise party for Jack, reading: “Come to the (sob) Jack Allen (choke) Surprise (sob) Farewell Party (tears) …”

8  In an earlier year, Louis Shawl was president of ADASF. His face was duplicated as a rubber stamp in a likeness of George Washington. This direct-mail piece won “The San Francisco Medal” in the club’s Sixteenth Annual Exhibition of Advertising and Editorial Art.

Publication Ads

9 Roy Gover (art director, layout artist and fine art painter) often modeled...these two ads appeared in ADASF annuals of 1963 and 1964.

10  Bill Hyde, known nationally for his lettering styles, modeled for this Chevron / Standard ad that ran in Life Magazine.
I don’t have the original page, this is a partial scan of the ad because Life Magazine was larger than the scanning area on the Xerox.

11  Max Landphere. “Landphere’s” was one of the largest advertising art and photography studios in San Francisco.
Here, Max models as a Matson passenger (“Breakfast at Bora Bora”) on one of the many Matson Line’s regular voyages.


12  Sam Coombs (agency partner, copywriter) posed for a brochure, “Total Insurance”. He is at the right. I asked Samm about this shot and Samm said:
That suit, face, haircut of mine was circa '62/'63 which means it was when I was briefly with Kennedy-Hannaford after Bob Dolman joined the agency and opened a SF office (HQ was Oakland).  Don't know who wrote that brochure, but I didn't.


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More Famous Artists’ Students

Hi Annie and Dick–
Just wanted to mention that I too am a ‘grad-?ju-?ate’ of the Famous Artists Course. I started in 1955, continued it while in the Marines 1956? – ?58, and finally finished it before I went to Art Center in 1963. Took a while. I was disap­pointed after I signed up that Jack Davis wasn’t one of the instruc­tors.
Frank Ansley

More Famous Artists’ Students

I was a 16 year old high school student in 1964 when I took the Famous Artists’ School test. The school repre­sen­ta­tive paid us a visit and said that they usually didn’t take on someone so young because teenagers don’t usually don’t have enough self-discipline. But I had done so well on the course that they took me on. They were right. I didn’t have the self-discipline, so I never finished the course. But I have continued to consult the books throughout the years. They helped me through two college majors. They are so well thumbed that I have had to rein­force the page holes several times. 

Diana Richter Thewlis


Art Directors and Artists Club of San Francisco

Before the club became the “San Fran­cisco Society of Commu­ni­cating Arts”… the “Art Direc­tors and Artists Club of San Fran­cisco” had many annual “Minia­ture Auctions”.

I contributed a number of minia­tures and…I even was, one to run the art around the audi­ence so they could be viewed up-close as each was being auctioned. It was all great fun in those days.

Then we had a “Larger-Than-Miniture Auction”.

Here are two of the posters/mailers created by Mike Bull.

The ADASF logo, created by Bill Hyde.

And, a photo of Adele Smith…who pulled together, all of the club’s events such as The Annual Show and Guest Speakers. Adele kept the member­ship of ADASF up to date, arranged the club’s Board Meet­ings and even referred artists to possible job place­ments.

Like those days, so long ago…Adele and I keep in touch.
Ann Thompson