Sunday, August 18, 2013

Back to School in 1964

Today's post takes us back to the year 1964 as the summer was winding down, and students were preparing to head off to college.
   The window display above featured the talented illustration work of Emil Grilli who was Denholms primary in house illustrator and sign painter.  Grilli also did work for various other retailers in Worcester such as Barnards, and Ware Pratt.
   Back then most stores had all of their signage painted by hand or used a printing machine to make the various sale and sizing signage (usually 5x7").  The role of the in house illustrator would be to paint out the larger signs used in window display (called copy strips), floor advertisements, directional signage, as well as props for the windows and interiors.  This is an art form that has long since passed with the invention of larger screen printing machines, as well as vinyl letters applied to the glass. 
  Mr. Grilli was a talented commercial artist, sign painter and sculpture, and his work is still collected by admirers of his talent.

Till the next quick post, I hope that you enjoy the rest of your summer!



  2. Was Emil a Worcester-ite? How clever he was with this one. I love it Chris!

  3. i must say this, he was indeed a very talented man. He lived in worcester and after the worcester tornado in 1953 he and my aunt mary moved to shrewsbury mass. my uncle emil did many things for the city of worcester and also shrewsbury. they donated a bronze statue to the town of shrewsbury in honor of SOLDIERS OF ALL WARS located at the town hall,which he sculpted . also plaques and monuments for the diocese of worcester one located on lincoln st worcester in front of st joan of arc church. i love to boast of him so any time feel free to contact me there are plenty of stories and things he accomplished in his life. but i must say the soldier was the thing that brought him great pride and joy. s. hickson

    1. Sam, thank you so much for posting, and I am glad that you saw this blog! I would love to speak further about your uncle. My email is I bet you have some great stories!