Home / Cover Art / Classic Covers / Classic Covers: What Happens Next?

Classic Covers: What Happens Next?

He Won’t Win! by J.F. Kernan

He Won't Win by J.F. Kernan

He Won't Win
J.F. Kernan
The Country Gentleman
October 25, 1924

In 1924 women didn’t know much about politics – at least according to men. It was only four years prior that the 19th Amendment gave American women the right to vote. This homey cover from artist J.F. Kernan probably shows a typical country scene. Hubby is laughing about the wife’s choice of a candidate. This, and the cover below, are a couple of my favorites.

Her Man Won! by J.F. Kernan

Her Man Won! by J.F. Kernan

Her Man Won!
J.F. Kernan
The Country Gentleman
November 1, 1924

This is why it’s one of my favorites! The man of the house got his come-uppence. From the look on his face, he doesn’t have a lot more to say. Artist Kernan did many delightful Country Gentleman covers. Look for a future “Featured Artists” piece on those.

Smoking Behind the Barn by Norman Rockwell

Smoking Behind the Barn by Norman Rockwell

Smoking Behind the Barn
Norman Rockwell
The Country Gentleman
May 8, 1920

Norman Rockwell mastered the “What Happens Next?” genre for Country Gentleman. These two country boys are having the time of their lives, sneaking a smoke behind the barn. The dog peeking through the fence is not too sure about this idea.

Retribution by Norman Rockwell

Retribution by Norman Rockwell

Retribution
Norman Rockwell
The Country Gentleman
May 15, 1920

This one is called “Retribution”, for obvious reasons. The dog was right – it wasn’t such a good idea. But instead of giving an “I told you so” look, Fido is sweetly sympathetic. The ragged clothes, weathered straw hat and red bandanna are favorite Rockwell props that we see in cover after cover.

Hey, Shrimp! by Norman Rockwell

Hey, Shrimp! by Norman Rockwell

Hey, Shrimp!
Norman Rockwell
The Country Gentleman
June 4, 1921

Don’t you hate a bully? So did Rockwell. The big kid is picking on the little one, taking his hat off and taunting him. Even the dogs are squaring off. Rockwell didn’t often paint “pretty dogs” like everyone else. He trolled the streets for the right mutt for a painting. It looks like this isn’t going to be pretty scene. But wait…

Take That! by Norman Rockwel

Take That! by Norman Rockwell

Take That!
Norman Rockwell
The Country Gentleman
June 11, 1921

The following cover delivers a delightful surprise! The little guy whipped the bully! Thus inspired, the little kid’s dog is routing the bully’s dog. There’s that straw hat again.

The Fishing Trip by Norman Rockwell

The Fishing Trip by Norman Rockwell

The Fishing Trip
Norman Rockwell
The Country Gentleman
April 26, 1919

We previously did a feature in this space about Rockwell’s Cousin Reginald. If you recall, Reginald was a city slicker who visited his country cousins, and these ornery boys got Reginald in all kind of fixes. This week, the boys are going fishing. Reggie, as usual, doesn’t seem to have any casual clothes. Note how the kid on the left is holding Reggie’s arm as if he’s saying, “Just wait! This’ll be great!” What happened next is no surprise.

The Catch by Norman Rockwell

The Catch by Norman Rockwell

The Catch
Norman Rockwell
The Country Gentleman
May 3, 1919

Once again, the country cousins show up the city boy. Reginald can’t catch a break with these guys – or much of a fish, either. We love the way Rockwell showed the “front” and “back” views of the youngsters. A city slicker from New York himself, Rockwell preferred depicting the charm of small-town or country life.

Read More:


  • Verna Bryant

    I really enjoyed the reviews on the front covers! It would be so nice if the world was still like those pictures. And, the economy was such that the Mother could stay home with the children and teach them Biblical principles and manners. I homeschool my little granddaughter so she can learn Christian values.”

  • Sharon

    Was America really as warm and welcoming as the front covers represent? If so what happened?