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Classic Covers: The Delightful Art of William Meade Prince

We don’t know a great deal about this artist, but he did forty-eight charming covers for our sister publication, Country Gentleman, and we know enough to enjoy them!

Grandma Bobs Her Hair by Wm. Meade Prince

Grandma Bobs Her Hair by Wm. Meade Prince

Grandma Bobs Her Hair
Wm. Meade Prince
The Country GentlemanMay 9, 1925

I adore this cover! In 1925 bobbing your hair was a bit daring and grandma has decided to get with it. We can only imagine grandpa’s comments. Artist William Meade Prince (1893-1951) grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Dog Doesn’t Like Sax Sounds by Wm. Meade Prince

Dog Doesn't Like Sax Sounds by Wm. Meade Prince

Dog Doesn''t Like Sax Sounds
Wm. Meade Prince
The Country Gentleman
March 28, 1925

Everybody’s a critic. This cute cover is also from 1925. Artist Prince had a hard time choosing between West Point Military Academy or a study of architecture at Georgia Institute of Technology. As a sort of compromise, he settled on studying art at the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts – luckily for us!

Thanksgiving Pie by Wm. Meade Prince

Thanksgiving Pie by Wm. Meade Prince

Thanksgiving Pie
Wm. Meade Prince
The Country Gentleman
November 1, 1930

Here’s a timely cover. It’s Thanksgiving and everybody wants some of that delicious-smelling pie! Meade had a way with colors. After years of advertising work in Chicago, Prince moved to Westport, Connecticut where he could work on magazine illustration and ride and maintain fine Arabian horses.

Playing Pirate by Wm. Meade Prince

Playing Pirate by Wm. Meade Prince

Playing Pirate
Wm. Meade Prince
The Country Gentleman
March 1, 1929

Prince depicted kids and grandparents with equal skill. Often the backgrounds in his paintings are important. For example, the billowing white clouds behind our youngster give us a sense of dreaming big. When Westport eventually became too urban for riding, Prince returned to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where he built his own studio and stables to continue his work in illustration and care for his horses.

Grandpa Sleeps, Girl Sings in Church by Wm. Meade Prince

Grandpa Sleeps, Girl Sings in Church by Wm. Meade Prince

Grandpa Sleeps, Girl Sings in Church
Wm. Meade Prince
The Country Gentleman
April 11 1925

Several Country Gentleman and Saturday Evening Post artists seemed to like the falling asleep in church theme. Often, the wife or child accompanying the snoozer is horrified and embarrassed. This little girl simply sings away while grandpa dozes. It’s another fine example of the skill of this artist in depicting young and old alike.

Something Went Bump in the Night by Wm. Meade Prince

Something Went Bump in the Night by Wm. Meade Prince

Something Went Bump in the Night
Wm. Meade Prince
The Country Gentleman
October 11, 1924

I love the people in Prince’s drawings. Many a lovely magazine cover of the time was of a pretty girl, but Prince’s people were real. This startled elderly couple who heard something in the night is a fine example. Notwithstanding the harsh, unforgiving look on the man’s face, there is an element of humor here. You may need to click on the cover for a close-up, but could the source of the ruckus be the tiny mouse on the table?

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