Edwin G. Lutz was my great-great-uncle. Specifically, he was my paternal grandfather’s uncle. Growing up, my siblings and I were aware of “Uncle Edwin.” He was an American artist and the author of drawing and art books.
Early in his career, Edwin contributed to newspapers and magazines as an artist and illustrator, but by the end of his life, he was probably best known as an author. He pursued many aspects of art, and between 1913 and 1936 he wrote 17 instructional “how-to” books on drawing, art anatomy, cartoon animation, lettering, landscape painting with oils, watercolor painting, engraving and etching, and memory drawing. Many of these books had multiple printings.
But what piqued our family’s fascination with our distant relative most is that his writing on cartoon animation influenced Walt Disney in developing animation. Edwin’s book Animated Cartoons (1920) – How they are made, their origin and development offered practical ideas for streamlining the production of animation drawings. In his first studio in Kansas City, Walt Disney and his team of animators used Edwin’s book as a guide for creating his early animated cartoons.
Edwin’s books changed an industry and influenced many aspiring artists.