26.5 X 17.25 INCHES


Stanley Klimley


Stanley Peter Klimley was a prominent magazine illustrator in the 1940s and 1950s working in New York City and well known for his romantic and poignant family illustrations in national magazines. His work appeared regularly in magazines such as McCall’s, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Ladies Home Journal, Woman’s Home Companion, Colliers Readers Digest. He was particularly skilled at creating romantic scenes which had suggestive overtones, yet fit into the straight-laced world of 1950s publishing.

Stan was also one of the first illustrators—if not the first— to portray an African-American woman in a national women's magazine. Stan studied at the Art Student’s League in New York City and was a member of the Illustrators club in New York City. His artistic style with its soft colors, confident lines, beautiful women, and handsome men—and storytelling abilities—put him squarely in the mainstream of the romantic school of American 20th century illustration typified by Bob Peak and Coby Whitmore. In the 1950s he was featured in an article that ran in McCalls’ on well designed Christmas packages as one of America’s eight most famous illustrators together Austin Briggs, Coby Whitmore, Joe De Mers, and others. When photography began to eclipse magazine illustration, Stan sailed for Europe with his wife, Dorothy and two children, April Jean Withington and Abbot Peter.

Together the family traveled through Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, France and Great Britain in their American station wagon. They paused in the middle of their sojourn to spend the winter in Florence, where Stan studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti and the family lived at first on the Viale Michelangelo and then in the Pensione Norchi on the Lungarno della Zecca. Returning to the US in 1955, Stan worked as freelance artist and illustrator for a number of nationally known brands including Frigidaire, Avon, and Longine’s Wittnauer.

From the 1960s through 1980s, he worked at two advertising agencies: Dancer Fitzgerald Sample as an art director, and SSC&B as an illustrator. He retired in 1986. Stan was head of the Civic Arts Commission in White Plains from 1958 to 1965. During that time produced portraits, landscapes, and a mural and map of historic White Plains. The centerpiece of the mural shows George Washington perched majestically on a rearing horse during his retreat from New York to his Revolutionary War Headquarters in White Plains. The mural is on permanent display in the White Plains Public Library. Stan was born in Providence Rhode Island on January 31, 1915, the oldest of four sons of Raymond and Teofelia Klimaszewski. He was raised in Rochester, NY, where his father ran a window washing business. At Benjamin Franklin High School, his music talent led him to found a band called the “Blue Notes” in which he played the trumpet.

Stan also attended the Rochester Institute of Technology. Stan moved to White Plains in 1940 soon after meeting and marrying his wife Dorothy Abbott in Buffalo, New York where both artists were working as sketch artists for major department stores during the Depression. Dorothy Abbott was a talented fashion artist, who had previously taught at the Traphagen School of Design in New York City. Stan married Dorothy in 1939 and shortly after moved to White Plains, NY where Dorothy was a long-time resident. At that time, he also changed his family name from Klimaszewski to Klimley—a combination of his Polish surname and personal name. The new name was much easier for Americans to pronounce in that era, and simpler for him to use to sign his illustrations.

In New York City, Stan and Dorothy founded a design studio, Abbott-Klimley, which flourished with clients such as the Wool Bureau for which they did annual reports. They closed the studio in the mid-1950s as Stan’s career as an illustrator began to take off. Stan’s wife Dorothy died in 1977. In 1981 he remarried to Ann Seraphaglu of White Plains, New York. In 1992, he and Ann moved to Boca Raton, Florida, where he became a member of the Boca Raton Rotary club and continued to do freelance work and portraits.