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Classic Covers: A Kiss is Just a Kiss

Are you ready for the passionate kiss appearing on the cover of the Post in … are you ready … 1907? The beautiful painting by Frank X. Leyendecker (brother of renowned artist J.C. Leyendecker) shows a beautifully dressed couple at the piano, carried away by the music, one supposes.

Covers from both world wars often depicted heartbreaking scenes of kissing a lover goodbye, but there was a twist to artist John Newton Howitt’s October 19, 1940, cover. The sailor is just about to kiss the pretty girl in his arms, when oops! Her purse opens, and  a loving photo of a soldier springs into view. Perhaps she has a military beau in every port? Or maybe it’s her brother … yeah, that’s it.

<em>Soldier or Sailor</em><br />by John Newton Howitt<br />October 19, 1940

Soldier or Sailorby John Newton HowittOctober 19, 1940

Not everyone approved of this kissing stuff. Robert Robinson was a cover artist in the early 1900s who was gifted at painting what we gently refer to as “old geezers.” This particular old salt sees the shadows of a kissing couple, one of whom is probably his little girl. The young man might want to hurry his “good night” along.

We not only approve, we simply cannot resist this 1938 Post cover by Frances Tipton Hunter. The little girl (who bears a resemblance to Shirley Temple) decides the best way to celebrate her friend’s birthday is with a smooch. We can’t quite tell if the birthday boy likes or dislikes the “gift,” but the boy witnessing the scene is sure getting a kick out of it.

We end with a unique winter scene from 1962 by an artist named James Williamson. An industrious wife is clearing the driveway of snow, and hubby shows his appreciation as he leaves for the office. If you look carefully, you’ll discover a witness to this lip action as well. A tiny squirrel perched atop the snowy fence by the mailbox is wondering what the heck these humans are up to now.

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  • sammie Justesen

    Another great article! These cover are amazing. How innocent we were back then! It always intrigues me how a simple picture can tell a story (worth a thousand words)

  • Janet Garritano

    These are all so cute!!! The look on the sailor’s face is priceless, and the girl is just oblivious to his suspicions. In the “Birthday Kiss”, you can’t tell if the birthday boy is liking the kiss, or if he thinks he will get cooties from the kiss. Either way, he won’t live it down with his buddy!