More than 100 works on paper showcase Howard’s four-decade fashion illustration career, starting with his early advertising campaigns for Neiman Marcus in the late 1950s, and through the ‘70s and ‘80s when the fashion illustration industry was at its height. The exhibition offers a nostalgic look at fashion trends set by top ready-to-wear designers, high-end fashion retailers, and cosmetic companies.
Neiman Marcus immediately recognized Howard’s talent when he worked as an in-house fashion illustrator and assistant artistic director at its headquarters in Texas. He later moved to New York City to become the artistic director of Franklin Simon and eventually became a freelance artist, remaining in high demand by major department stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bonwit Teller, B. Altman and Company, and the LA-based retailer Bullocks. These department stores employed Howard to create illustrations for fashion houses, such as Dior, Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein, and Yves Saint Laurent, which were most often published in The New York Times.
In addition, Drawn to Glamour features eight looks from the Denver Art Museum’s fashion collection and four men’s silhouettes on loan from private lenders that capture the essence of some of the most iconic trends of the late '50s to the early '80s.
"Drawn to Glamour: Fashion Illustrations by Jim Howard" is organized by the Denver Art Museum. It is generously funded by the donors to the Annual Fund Leadership Campaign and the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). Special thanks to the Avenir Foundation and Nancy Lake Benson for their support of the department of Textile Art and Fashion. Promotional support is provided by 5280 Magazine, CBS4, Comcast Spotlight, and The Denver Post.
Photo Credit: Portrait of Jim Howard, about 1965. Image courtesy and © of Jim Howard