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Classic Covers: John Clymer’s Beautiful Seasons

Autumn is almost here, so this seems like a good time to celebrate the seasons. Most people have forgotten the beautiful scenery by great landscape artist John Clymer that graced over eighty covers of The Saturday Evening Post. Enjoy this reminder – and you can click on any cover for a close-up.

Mountain Farm by John Clymer

Mountain Farm by John Clymer

Mountain Farm
John Clymer
March 23, 1957

“When I got into my early teens, like all boys, I got to wondering what in the world could I do to make a living and live in the mountains? One day I got to thinking about it and thought, that’s it! I’ll paint pictures and then I can live wherever I want to live.” – John Ford Clymer (1907-1989)

Born and raised in Ellensburg, Washington, Clymer was used to mountains and this 1957 springtime was painted from memory. The viewer almost feels like he is in that jeep, riding along with the collie alongside the clear water and breathing the fresh air. There’s a lot of detail here…you can barely see the woman hanging clothes to the right.

Colorado Creek by John Clymer

Colorado Creek by John Clymer

Colorado Creek
John Clymer
October 13, 1951

In the foothills of the Rockies, this 1951 cover is another example where you can almost breathe the tonic of the autumn air. Until a traveling magazine salesman sold the Clymer family some subscriptions, John did not have a clue as to what his future held. Entranced by the illustrations, he came across a correspondence course and worked toward honing his artistic talents.

Gloucester Harbor in Winter by John Clymer

Gloucester Harbor in Winter by John Clymer

Gloucester Harbor in Winter
John Clymer
February 4, 1961

Crisscrossing the country, Clymer traveled to Delaware to study at the Wilmington Academy of Art. So naturally, not all scenes were from his Western perspective, although his heart remained in the Cascade mountains. This cover shows a picturesque New England view- Gloucester, Massachusetts harbor in the snow. Note the fisherman and tiny boy on a boat in front.

Children with Rowboat by John Clymer

Children with Rowboat by John Clymer

Children with Rowboat
John Clymer
October 31, 1953

Honestly, I could just kick myself. A few years ago a gentleman called and asked about this cover. “You see that house in the background, behind the kids?” he asked. “I just found out about this painting – that’s my house!” The reason I could kick myself is I didn’t keep his name. But we can still enjoy John Clymer’s late fall painting from 1953.

Skipping Stones by John Clymer

Skipping Stones by John Clymer

Skipping Stones
John Clymer
June 22, 1957

One of the prettiest reminders of summer is this 1957 treasure. “Glory be!” exclaimed the Post editors, “School’s out and there’s nothing to do for a billion tomorrows except nothing much. At least until dad starts getting notions in his head, such as that it won’t harm the vegetable garden to hoe it.” In the meantime, skipping stones seems like a nice thing to do. “Another nice thing,” the editors noted, “is the loveliness of the land that John Clymer always gives his people to live in.” As always, reprints are available at curtispublishing.com.

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  • ellen farmer

    we have 3 prints of clymers for the fraser valley milk producersdec 1926 of butterfat hung in the depot at new westminister bc and later for the fvmpa in vancouver any comments would be appreciated ellen farmer

  • Charis Sherman

    I miss the time when, as children, we could be outside all day and no one worried about us. I surely miss that freedom.

  • James Ryan

    My days of yesteryear, how I long for their return.