Like N.C. Wyeth, Ellen Bernard Thompson Pyle was a student of Howard Pyle’s Brandywine School, later marrying Howard’s brother Walter. When they started a family, Pyle set painting aside, but after Walter’s death in 1919, as a widow with four children, Pyle resumed her career to make ends meet. She struggled at first, but then her sister-in-law took three of Pyle’s paintings to the Post—and Lorimer promptly bought two of them, in addition to the girl with the ice cream cone, which became a cover in 1922 (after Lorimer insisted that the dog, originally shown drooling, be retouched). Pyle painted 40 Post covers in all, often using her children as models. The girls sipping sodas here are Pyle’s daughters.
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