Lenn Redman: A look back

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By KENYA CHANEY
A&E Editor

Piedmont’s Mason- Scharfenstein Museum of Art’s latest collection entitled, “A Look Back,” brings the collection of 1930s cartoonist and artist Lenn Redman. 

Redman has created over 200,000 caricatures throughout his art career. The artist was born in Chicago on Dec. 12, 1912, to Russian immigrants. He attended college at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, currently known as the Chicago Art Institute. 

Redman’s artwork includes colorful, humorous tributes to artists such as Dali, Miro, Picasso and pieces depicting Old Hollywood celebrities. He travelled to California and joined Walt Disney’s team. Since then, he worked on Fantasia and other popular animation films. In the 1940s, Redman opened his own commercial art studio in his home city of Chicago. He was not only an artist but an entertainer as well and starred on “The You Asked for It Show,” drawing various people while blindfolded. 

Piedmont’s collection also features some nostalgic and familiar cartoon characters. His entire art collection was given to his son, Mark Redman. 

Last Tuesday, Mark Redman made a visit to the Piedmont Campus and was able to speak with the Navigator.

Navigator: Did you have a very close relationship with your father?

Mark Redman: I did before my parents divorced in 1962. I was ten years old. We would be together on the weekends until he moved to California when I was sixteen. Then I would only see him once or twice a year, but we would talk on a regular basis. The students have helped me find out things about my father and our relationship.

N: Do you recall any memories with your father?

I would only see him once or twice a year, but we would talk on a regular basis. The students have helped me to find out things about my father and our relationship.

N: Do you recall any memories with your father?

MR: He enjoyed music, as I do. He took me to the North Shore School of Music for guitar lessons. One time, we went to Las Vegas together. This was the Las Vegas in the 50s or 60s where there were real gangsters. I got to meet some of those people, which was interesting. At one point, I ended up in the desert, where the creator of Porky the Pig decided to isolate himself. We had some great memories.

N: Did your father ever inspire you to pursue art?

MR: No. During family events, he would be hammer-drilling everybody, and he was quite an entertainer. I don’t think anybody would have been able to get a word in edge wise. I did not pick any of that up.

N: How would you describe his personality?

MR: Vivacious, very personal, very outgoing. He’d carry a sketchbook everywhere he’d go. Like, we have diaries to write in, my father had his sketchbook, which held very important things inside of it.

N: How would you describe his artwork?

MR: I always saw it as humorous.  

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