Edward Dalton Stevens was born in 1878 in Virginia, the son of a technician at an oil company. He was the younger brother of the illustrator, William Dodge Stevens. Like his brother, Edward was eager to pursue a career as an artist and, just as William had done, Dalton left home at the age of 20 and enrolled at the Chicago Art Institute.
After Edward graduated in 1902, both he and William moved to New York City, where they worked together and eventually set up an art studio in Greenwich Village. Both William and Edward found success working as commercial illustrators and they were responsible for some of the most memorable covers of the pulp era. Edward and William both continued to live and work together through the Great Depression and both were highly respected and acclaimed for their work.
Tragically, at the start of the 1930s, Edward Dalton Stevens started to lose both his eyesight and his hearing. Eventually, he became totally blind. Unable to work and feeling that he had become burden to his brother, Edward Dalton Stevens committed suicide on August 14th, 1939. The following obit appeared in the New York Times:
As can be seen from the sampling of his work below, the artistic legacy of Edward Dalton Stevens continues to live on:
Well, to be honest, I love trains in Europe. One of my fondest memories of Italy was riding the train to Venice. And, when Jeff and I were in the UK last year, I discovered that I absolutely loved the London underground. Everyone told me that I wouldn’t but I did. Of course, I also usually took a Dramamine or two before boarding so I was often kind of out of it.
Outside of the DART train in Dallas, I’ve never really spent any time on any trains in the United States. To be honest, I’m always a little bit shocked to discover that Amtrak is actually a thing. A few years ago, I read an article where someone was complaining that people in the South and the Midwest don’t ever use Amtrak and, as a result, we don’t ever elect politicians who understand the importance of funding the trains. To be honest, down here, we really don’t care about Amtrak. We all own cars and we know where the highways are so we don’t need the trains.
As for this video, Michel Gondry put it together from footage that he shot while riding ten different trains across France. Gondry carefully edited the footage so that, while appearing like a seamless journey, the landscape changes in time to the music. It creates a wonderfully dream-lie and surreal atmosphere, one that reminds me of Gondry’s later work on Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.