Archive for December 31st, 2011

As we end this year, 2011, I thought I’d take a minute and show a few of the Saturday Evening Post covers from the first half of the 20th century that celebrate the new year, all created by  the great illustrator J.C Leyendecker

Leyendecker is credited with popularizing the notion of the New Year being embodied as a baby and for over thirty years his versatile babies hailed in the new year for the popular magazine, often in a timely fashion.  One hundred years ago, he had a baby suffragette marching across the cover and in times of war he had sword wielding doughboys and Nazi-fighting GIs.  The one thing they all had in common was Leyendecker beautiful style.

The German-born Leyendecker came to America as a child in 1882 and became one of the most successful and influential illustrators of his time.  He is perhaps best known for his Arrow Collar Man, a long-running series of ads that shaped how the American man of that time came to be viewed.  He also did so many of their covers that his name was  associated almost synonymously with the Saturday Evening Post, in much the same way the work of Norman Rockwell became after him.

I wonder how Leyendecker might have portrayed this new year’s baby?

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