Stan Galli (1912-2009) was a prolific illustrator whose work crossed many genres—magazine illustration, postage stamp design, travel posters, Navy training manuals, advertising posters, and landscape paintings of the Italian countryside.
Born in San Francisco, California, Galli attended the California Art Institute (now the San Francisco Art Institute) before becoming an advertising artist. During World War II, he contributed to the war effort by drawing images of battleships to be included in Navy training manuals.
From the 1950s through the 1960s, Galli's work appeared in such publications as Country Gentleman, The Saturday Evening Post, Ladies' Home Journal, and Reader's Digest. Beginning in 1952, Galli, along with friend and fellow illustrator Fred Ludekens, began painting images of wildlife for Weyerhauser Timber advertisements. Galli's images of foxes, ducks, bobcats, raccoons, deer, bear cubs, pheasant, and numerous other animals enjoying taking advantage of Weyerhauser's forestry help to soften the image of the timber industry. Within the advertisements, Galli's paintings were often accompanied by text describing the benefits of harvesting timber with titles like “Good forestry converts wild land into productive tree farms…, “Meeting America's demand for wood by tree farming…,” and “After the harvest, new tree crops grow to replace the old…”
During this time, Galli was commissioned to paint advertising posters for United Airlines. These now iconic posters featured delighted tourists in Hawaii sailing in outrigger canoes, couples enjoying horse carriage rides in New York City, cable car rides in San Francisco, and jungle cruises in Disneyland.
In addition to his advertisting work, Galli also painted a series of twenty-six U.S. postage stamps promoting wildlife conservation, for which he received two awards.
From the 1970s onward, Galli moved away from commercial illustration to focus on painting Italian landscapes at his summer home in Tuscany, and historic sites from Spanish Colonial California.
Galli was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 1981.
Photograph by Suzanne Riess
Illustrations by Stan Galli
Ermoyan, Arpi. Famous American Illustrators. Edison, NJ: Chartwell Books, 2002.
Reed, Walt. The Illustrator in America, 1860-2000. New York: Society of Illustrators, 2001.
Riess, Suzanne B. “Solving Visual Problems—An Artist's Life.” Archive.org. 2002. Accessed January 24, 2018. https://archive.org/details/solvingvisualpro00gallrich