Frederick G. Cooper Biography

Fred G. Cooper enjoyed a career as one of America's foremost illustrators in the first quarter of the twentieth century. His "bighead" cartoon characters were seen constantly throughout the teens, twenties and thirties in many of the most popular magazines of the day.

He was hired by the Westinghouse Company, which manufactured such appliances as washing machines and dryers, toasters, irons and, later, percolators, am/fm radios and record players, to produce a campaign for a number of new time saving appliances for the home. These posters are rare today and are collected for their interesting graphics, their historical appeal and the art of Cooper's work.

Leslie Cabarga has called Cooper's "self-consciously unself-conscious" approach to illustration. "Throughout his life he did not limit himself to a solitary artistic identity," Cabarga writes in The Lettering and Design of F. G. Cooper.* "Yet no matter the style or technique employed his work was always easily identifiable."

He did ads for Westinghouse, posters for the War Department, illustrated books and magazine articles and designed alphabets (though not, as is often assumed, Cooper Black.)