Signpainter by Norman Rockwell
“The story of my life is really the story of my pictures and how I made them,” Norman Rockwell frequently said. “In one way or another, everything I have seen or done has gone into my pictures.” Read the story behind Rockwell’s Signpainter here.
Secret Valentine by Harry Hintermeister
Sometimes it’s best to remain a secret valentine. Case in point: when you’re sending a valentine to a special boy and he’s sending valentines to every girl in town! The little girl’s face is priceless – she doesn’t know whether to cry or jump up and strangle him. This is from our then-sister magazine, The Country Gentleman from 1938.
Valentine Card by Ethyl Franklin Betts
One of our earliest Valentine’s Day covers shows a lady shopping for a card in 1904.This cover was done by an artist named Ethel Franklin Betts. Is the gentleman behind the shopper wishing the card was for him? Betts was a student of the illustrious (in every sense of the word) Howard Pyle, and did mostly illustrations for children’s books. Luckily for us, she also did four Saturday Evening Post covers.
First Valentine by Richard Sargent
More than fifty years later, this lad is picking out just the right card for someone special. Cover artist Dick Sargent did 47 covers in the 1950s and early ’60s. This is a typical slice-of-life example, with a boy clearly not wanting to be seen doing what he’s doing. Let’s hope his buddies don’t catch him while he’s at it – poor kid will never hear the end of it. (We used this illustration for our January/February 2013 Limerick Laughs Contest. Read the winning limericks here.)
Giant Valentine by Tom Webb
The things we do for love. Tom Webb is another mostly forgotten artist, but he did six Post covers. This one is from 1937. One wonders about the lady’s reaction.
Couple in Heart by Bradshaw Crandall
Artist Crandall did nine Post covers of pretty girls or handsome couples. I love the thirties hairstyles and fashions here. Crandall was known for painting romantic ladies…along with pin-ups too risqué for the likes of The Saturday Evening Post.
Chasing Cupid by J.C. Leyendecker
When it came to romance in the 19th and early 20th century, men did all the pursuing. A “loophole” was Leap Year, when ladies were supposedly permitted to propose to a man. So watch out, Cupid! This lady (I’ll kindly refrain from calling her a spinster) is on a mission. This crazy 1908 cover was by J.C. Leyendecker.