Artist Eugene Iverd (1893-1936) came to light in the golden age of illustration that embraced the likes of J.C. Leyendecker and Norman Rockwell. He mostly painted children, and his Saturday Evening Post covers are a treat to be savored.
Daydreaming accordionist – March 13, 1926
In 1926 a young Eugene Iverd wrote an ecstatic letter to his mother. “I can’t wait another moment. I must tell you the good news.” He had sent 4 paintings to The Saturday Evening Post and they were interested! Mr. Martin, a managing editor, even visited the artist personally. This daydreaming young man serenading his movie idols was the first Iverd Post cover.
Boy Botanist – August 27, 1932 – Eugene Iverd
Letter to Mom, continued: “P.S. Oh! Yes! I must tell you this. (Mr. Martin) said Chief Editor Mr. Lorimer said, ‘Who is this man Iverd? Why haven’t we seen some of his work before?’” This beautiful 1932 cover with wonderful colors is a prime example of what Post editors discovered in this artist. This budding entomologist is collecting, studying and noting every find. In his short life (he died at age 43), Iverd did numerous magazine covers, 29 of them for the Post. The one below has similar pastel tones.
Boy and Dog in Nature – June 11, 1932 – Eugene Iverd
These two covers would go beautifully together, framed and hung in a special place. This one has a timeless Rockwellian feel. Growing up in Waseca, Minnesota, Iverd “showed incredibly early talent and drew constantly and on anything,” his granddaughter, Lyn Farquhar, told us in a 2001 e-mail. “He drew many pictures on the blank pages of hymnals n the Lutheran Church attended by the family. Many of these later became treasured keepsakes by town citizens. His artistry was supported by his mother but frowned upon by his father.”
Snow Shoveler – January, 3 1931- Eugene Iverd
An industrious young man (and little furry helper) is ringing doorbells to turn a snowfall into a financial opportunity. It’s from 1931, but it could be a drawing of last winter. Some things never change.
Lighting the Pumpkin – November 3, 1934 – Eugene Iverd
1934 was a pivotal year for the Great Depression. Unemployment was still high, but we seemed to be turning a corner. FDR was the American president and the political rumblings in Europe were much scarier than a creepy jack-o-lantern. This colorful scene of two trick-or-treaters is a Halloween favorite. I love the use of color against the background of dark houses with twinkling lights.
Children on swing – June 22, 1935 – Eugene Iverd
Iverd was an art teacher in Erie, Pennsylvania, so he knew something about children. This fun cover from 1935 was one of his last. Sadly, he died in 1936 of pneumonia. “Antibiotics, which could easily have saved him,” wrote his granddaughter, “were not available until the following year.” He was only able to spend three years as a full-time artist, “yet he published over 60 magazine covers, and over 150 advertisements, story illustrations, calendars, lithographs,” wrote Ms. Farquhar. “His productivity still astounds me.”