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RALSTON CRAWFORD

at FORTUNE

 

BIKINI December 1946
D DAY WEATHER NOVEMBER 1944
COVER, The Merchant Marine November 1944
COVER, Air Transport, April 1945
COVER, Radar October 1945
Radar October 1945, Weather Reconnaissance

 

BIKINI COMPARATIVE IMAGERY (COLD WAR)

 

SOME DOCUMENTATION, Freeman, Alabama 1953

 

 

 

 

Born in 1906 and the son of a Great Lakes Sea Captain, Crawford was a many facetted painter and photographer, much neglected even before his death in 1978. Peter Piening as Art Director particularly favoured Crawford's tendency to clear shapes and bright colours in a most wonderful harmony on the page. He had been trained initially in Los Angeles, even working for a short period in the Disney Studios. Looking at the Weather Reconnaissance diagram of 1945, this feeling of animation can still be felt, particularly if compared with the more Modernist vision shown in the Matthew Leibowitz diagram on the opposite page.In 1943 Crawford had served with the Weather Division of the US Army Air Forcecreating maps and diagrams understandable to pilots.

Crawford's covers are the joy of the period, particularly when many of Piening's own covers were disappointingly overwrought and difficult to read.

In 1946 FORTUNE sent him on location to report the Bikini Atom Bomb Tests, the violence and energy transposed for readers in cool yet accurate planes of shape and colour of considerable wit and invention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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