Biography: Saul Tepper was born in Manhattan in 1899 and began his art education with a correspondence course from the Landon School of Art in London. He then attended Cooper Union and the Art Students League. His first illustration appeared in Motion Picture magazine, and he subsequently worked as a lettering specialist for a fashion catalgoue. At Harvey Dunn's Grand Central Scool of Art and in Dunn's New Jersey studio, Tepper absorbed the influence of Howard Pyle, who had been Dunn's own teacher. During his mature career, Tepper would bring Pyle's aesthetics to illustrations reminiscent of his urban life experience as the son of European immigrants. Tepper commented that Pyle and Dunn's insistence that "feeling, expression, (and) love of craft" were the hallmarks of good illustration that served as the standard for his own art.
In 1925 Tepper began ten years of successful illustration for Liberty and Collier's as well as the Curtis publications and several women's magazines. His work also appeared in ads for a range of products, including General Electric, Texaco, and Coca-Cola. He later established his studio at the Hotel des Artistes; he was on the faculty of Cooper Union, Pratt Institute, the Society of Illustrators, and the New York Art Directors Club.
Between the wars, he excelled at the romance and adventure stories that dominated popular magazines.
Tepper was known for his extensive research into the subjects of his illustrations; to stay as close as possbile to the text, he chose his models carefully. He made numerous preliminary skteches. Ordinarily, his final work was in oil, though sometimes in gouache. One commentator described his "fluid strokes of paint arranged in a strong pattern of lights and rich darks."
As the market for illustration declined with the increasing use of photography in magazines, Tepper turned to music composition to supplment his illustration work. In the 1950s, he changed professions and became a television director until his retirement.
Source: The Art of Saul Tepper, by Daniel Zimmer. Illustration (magazine), v. 14, #56. 2017. P. 4f.