Emmett Watson (illustrator)

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Emmett Watson
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Emmett St. Clair Watson, Jr.

January 30, 1893
Richmond,Virginia, United States
DiedMay 7, 1955
New Canaan, Connecticut, United States
  • Art Students League
  • Grand Central School of Art
Known for
  • Illustration
  • Painting
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CitizenshipUnited States of America

Emmett St. Clair Watson, Jr. (January 30, 1893 - May 7, 1955) was an American illustrator whose works appeared in popular magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post, Judge, Collier's, and Life, and also in pulp magazines such as Argosy, Railroad Stories, Detective Fiction Weekly,

Early Life

Emmett St. Clair Watson, Jr. was born in 1893 in Richmond, Virginia to Emmett St. Clair Watson, Sr. and Julia Butler Winn, and spent his early childhood in the Church Hill section of the city.[1] He attended John Marshall High School and worked as an illustrator for Metropolitan Engraving. In 1916, Watson moved to New York City, where he attended classes at the Art Students League and the Grand Central School of Art.[2][3]

World War I

When the United States American entered World War I in 1917, Watson enlisted in the 7th Regiment of the New York Militia, also known as the "Silk Stocking" regiment, but was soon transferred to the Intelligence Section of Headquarters Company of 69th Infantry Regiment, the famous "Fighting Sixty-Ninth", within the 42nd Infantry "Rainbow" Division. In France, Watson worked as a cartographer, drawing maps of the front lines. He served with noted poet Joyce Kilmer, Father Duffy, and William "Wild Bill" Donovan.[4][2][3]

Freelance Illustrator

With the Armistice, the war was over and Watson returned to New York, opening his own art studio on East 34th Street in Manhattan. Many of his early published works were black and white illustrations and advertisements. Soon, however, he was creating color covers for magazines such as Judge, Collier's, and Life Magazine.[2] Watson's work for the pulps has been described as "masterful"[2] and his "...confident drawing style, bold compositions, and joyous color schemes were very influential, especially for the younger pulp artist, Rudolph Belarski, who worked with Watson for Argosy."[2] During World War II Watson created several wartime posters as well as covers for Liberty Magazine.[2]

Personal Life

Watson married Marguerite Marie Elliott in the Church of the Transfiguration in Manhattan on July 18, 1921. Their son Emmett St. Clair Watson III was born in 1922 and daughter Marguerite in 1925. The Watsons lived for many years in Scarsdale, New York.


Emmett Watson died on May 7, 1955.[5]


  1. History of Virginia. United States, American Historical Society, 1924, p. 186.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Catalog". www.pulpartists.com.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "History". Website of emmettwatson!.
  4. Harris, Stephen L.. Duffy's War: Fr. Francis Duffy, Wild Bill Donovan, and the Irish Fighting 69th in World War I. Potomac Books, 2006.
  5. "Emmett St. Clair Watson Jr. (1893-1955) - Find A..." www.findagrave.com.

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