Volume 6 No 1 April 2015


Fitzpatrick donates archives

AFAS Honorary member Art Fitzpatrick has donated his entire body of work to the Gilmore Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, USA. Here's the story in Art's own words...

"At 96 I have spent nearly 80 years working, designing, painting, inventing, and investing, and am still at it. I had accumulated a large body of work stuff … stuff (is the junk you keep, junk is the stuff you trash) over eight decades. Thinking about the business and family concerns that arise with an artist's estate, I thought it was time to consider an appropriate home for that amount of my life's work without dumping it on my scattered heirs.

I chose the Gilmore Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan primarily because of their dedicated mission and goals, which is their ongoing commitment to the preservation and education of automotive history. I was also enthused about supporting an organization that I know Tom Hale has supported and worked with for so many years. He is both a good friend and an artist whose thinking I respect.

The Gilmore Museum now possesses at least 99% of all of the surviving "art" that I have retained or acquired from the age of four or five and through a teen-age year of art school, and into a real job at 17 as an apprentice car designer. The major portion is original art and sketches, tear sheets, proofs, etc. from the beginning of my nearly 30 years of work as an illustrator of ads at the end of WWII. Also included are ads and product designs for other automotive and non-automotiveconnected clients

Fitzpatrick with Michelle Cousineau, co-author of Fitzpatrick's bio currently in the works

Records show that I've produced more ad illustrations, and for more car companies, than any other artist ever.

Organizing and appraising the gift to the Gilmore Museum jump-started another project; a biography on my life and career. It's an interesting process, sharing thoughts on creativity, art and the business of art -- thinking of becoming (and staying) ahead of the crowd. It's time to tell the story from the beginning since over the years I have received so many queries and expressive comments at conventions, concours, art/design schools and museums. I enjoy sharing my experiences and views. A little over a year ago I was the Toyota Lecture Series speaker at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit (USA). It turned out to be to a standing-room-only audience, followed by a standing ovation from a large, diverse audience of men and women of various ages, including faculty, students, past and present designers, advertising professionals, illustrators, and auto executives. The story seems to interest a wider audience than I would have expected. Tom Hale, Charlie Maher and wives were there and reported some of the audience's and their own reactions.

I'm both surprised and gratified at being able to connect with several generations of interested and creative people."