Harold Rosenberg Created Smokey the Bear

(Courtesy the Ad Council)

(Courtesy the Ad Council)

A big thank you to the anonymous tipster who just shared with us that art critic Harold Rosenberg—the astute observer of Abstract-Expressionism who coined the term “action painting”—is responsible for the forest-fire prevention mascot Smokey the Bear. The story is told in this excerpt of Irving Howe’s A Margin of Hope, published on a 1999 website for a PBS film about New York’s midcentury intellectuals called Arguing the World:

“Even the ways in which New York writers earned their livings helps place them as an intelligentsia. A few scholarly figures like Schapiro and Trilling were professors. Harold Rosenberg had an enviable part-time job at the Advertising Council, where he created Smokey the Bear. (The sheer deliciousness of it: this cuddly artifact of commercial folklore as the creature of our unyielding modernist!) The others,

Article source: http://galleristny.com/2013/04/harold-rosenberg-created-smokey-the-bear/

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