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Classic Covers: That First Nip of Autumn

Published: October 16, 2010

“Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.” – William Cullen Bryant. These Saturday Evening Post and Country Gentleman covers evoke the first coolness of autumn.

Fall in the Park by Neysa McMein

Fall in the Park by Neysa McMein

Fall in the ParkNeysa McMeinDecember 3, 1938

You can feel that nip in the air with this cover by artist Neysa McMein from 1938. She did almost sixty Saturday Evening Post covers between 1916 and 1939, all of fashionable ladies. McMein also did many covers for McCall’s and worked successfully as a commercial artist. She is known for creating the image of Betty Crocker for General Mills.

Geese Flying South by Wm. Meade Prince

Geese Flying South by Wm. Meade Prince

Geese Flying SouthWm. Meade PrinceThe Country GentlemanOctober 1, 1925

I love the colors in this William Meade Prince (1893-1951) cover for Country Gentleman magazine (a sister publication to the Post). I found so many charming or humorous CG covers by Prince, nearly fifty in fact; that I feel a future Featured Artists piece on this artist is warranted.

Hunter and Spaniel by J.F. Kernan

Hunter and Spaniel by J.F. Kernan

Hunter and SpanielJ.F. KernanNovember 3, 1928

Many J.F. Kernan covers depicted a delightful older gent, and this is one of the most beautiful. From 1928, the hunter and his beloved spaniel are framed by the cool beauty of autumn. You may recall the “What Happens Next?” piece a couple of weeks ago that featured Kernan’s Country Gentleman covers of a man making fun of his wife’s choice of political candidate. This delightful artist did over fifty covers for CG and the Post.

A Walk in the Woods by John Newton Howitt

A Walk in the Woods by John Newton Hewitt

A Walk in the WoodsJohn Newton HewittThe Country GentlemanAugust 1, 1931

I ran across the original artwork for this cover a while back, and it is gorgeous. Gazing on this lovely country scene, it is difficult indeed to believe that artist John Newton Howitt (1885-1958) became known as the “Dean of the Weird Menace Cover” for his dime pulp and horror magazine art! We’re delighted to show this side of a fine artist/illustrator.

Pointing to the Pheasant by Paul Bransom

Pointing to the Pheasant by Paul Bransom

Point to the PheasantPaul BransomNovember 1, 1937

Paul Bransom (1885-1979) was a young comic strip artist, but ended up spending most of his time at the Bronx Zoo, sketching the animals. The zookeeper noticed Bransom and allowed him to set up his own private studio in the lion house. Filled with confidence, he met with the editor of The Saturday Evening Post who immediately purchased four covers and several other illustrations. Quite the coup for a young man around twenty-two. This autumn hunting scene is from 1937.

Pumpkin Patch by Sarah Stilwell-Weber

Pumpkin Patch by Sarah Stilwell Weber

Pumpkin PatchSarah Stilwell WeberNovember 7, 1914

How soon that nip turns to a chill when the wind is blowing. Sarah Stilwell-Weber depicted many a charming child for The Saturday Evening Post. Picking out just the right pumpkin is a rite of fall, but I think this charming little lass is going to need assistance here, as it appears her choice weighs more than she does.

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  • Gla

    This picture reminds me of the times we took our 1st and 2nd grade elementary school class on a field trip to the pumpkin patch. We would tell them to only pick out a pumpkin that they themselves could carry. Well, they always seemed to pick out the biggest pumpkin they could find. Sometimes, we would help them carry their pumpkin they found. They were so cute. :)