AMERICA'S GREAT ILLUSTRATORS, by Susan E. Meyer (Abrams, $35). The work of ten turn-of-the century American illustrators is surveyed in this beautifully produced book by Susan Meyer, the editor of American Artist . Meyer's introduction discusses the context in which the great illustrators developed -- the rise of the pictorial weekly magazines such as Collier's,Vanity Fair , andThe Saturday Evening Post -- while the remainder of her book focuses on the life and work of some of the most important and perennially appealing of these popular artists. For example, J.C. Leyendecker, though the son of penniless German immigrants, rose to immense fame and financial success in part by creating that symbol of the American gentleman, the Arrow Collar Man. Leyendecker was a consummate pictorial designer and yet a recluse whose private life is still not well understood. Frederic Remington was, in both life and work, the archetype of the rugged American individualist. Prior to 1900, he divided his time between New York and traviling in the West, where he sought to dapture the vitality and authentic ditail of that changing culture. These two men, as well as Howard Pyle, Maxfield Parrish, Norman Rpckwell and other illustrators of the Golden Age, created drawings whose beauty often exceeded the repuirements (and even the reproductive capability) of contemporary magazine printing. Meyer's book -- in the quality of its plates and in its text -- helps to make clear that America's great illustrators were also great American artists.