December 12, 1912 – December 11, 2010
Michael Dolas passed away at his home in Santa Barbara, California attended by family and friends on December 11, 2010 – one day shy of his ninety-eighth birthday.
Dolas was one of the last surviving artists of the Golden Age of Illustration, capturing the spirit and rhythms of American life through the Great Depression, World War II and beyond. His work was seen in national magazines including The Saturday Evening Post, Cosmopolitan, Colliers, Liberty and Redbook where his illustrations graced the works of Ernest Hemingway, Paul Gallico, Pearl Buck, Evelyn Waugh and many others. In 1939 he was the only artist named one of the Top Ten Men in America by the New York Times.
After serving as a photographer in the U.S. Army Signal Corps during World War II, he moved into commercial and billboard art for such corporate giants as Wells Fargo, Ford Motor Company and Budweiser – earning over twenty national advertising awards.
In the mid-1950’s he migrated with his family to California where he kept studios in Santa Barbara, then a small town he found reminiscent of his Greek up-bringing, and San Francisco. He maintained ties in NYC and was the oldest and longest standing member of the Lotos Club.
Known widely and simply as, “Mike” he will be remembered for his passionate, gregarious and generous spirit. His signature parting words, “Stay happy!” still ring in many an ear.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Lura Dolas, and is survived by his son, Theodore Michael Dolas, his daughter, Lura Dolas, son-in-law, Darryl Brock and granddaughter, Phoebe Brock-Dolas.
There will be a celebration of Mike’s life later this year.
Those wishing to remember him might send a donation to SEVA or Half the Sky Foundation.