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Classic Covers: The Good Things Autumn Brings


“Geese in Formation Over Marsh” by Paul Bransom

Geese in Formation Over Marsh – Paul Bransom October 1, 1930
“Geese in Formation Over Marsh”
by Paul Bransom
From October 1, 1930

This 1930 cover by artist Paul Bransom (1885-1979) is a striking example of art found in The Country Gentleman magazine, a sister publication to The Saturday Evening Post for many decades. In fact, the Post launched the career of Bransom as a well-known wildlife illustrator with the purchase of some of his paintings for 1907 covers. We will have a feature on this artist soon.


“Missouri Moon” by E.P. Couse

Missouri Moon by E.P. Couse from Sept 1942 Country Gentleman
“Missouri Moon”
by E.P. Couse
From September 1942

Not all of the art was on the covers. Like The Saturday Evening Post, The Country Gentleman magazine featured works of fiction. This beautiful illustration by E.P. Couse was in the September 1942 issue. The story was “Missouri Moon” by MacKinlay Kantor and deals with a Native American threat on the plains. The caption reads, “These ladies and gentlemen are forting up, m’sieur. You shall remain until all danger is gone.”


“Dog with Pheasant” by J.F. Kernan

Dog with Pheasant  by J.F. Kernan From November 1934
“Dog with Pheasant”
by J.F. Kernan
From November 1934

American illustrator J.F. Kernan’s wonderful art graced most major publication of the 1920s-’30s—The Saturday Evening Post, Collier’s, Outdoor Life, and, of course, The Country Gentleman among them. This beautiful cover is from November 1934.


“Flower Bouquet” by Kay

Flower bouquet by Kay From November 1940
“Flower Bouquet”
by Kay
From November 1940

Again, browsing inside the magazine, we found a section called “Country Gentlewoman” where the rural ladies had their say. This gem was in a 1940 article called “A Home-Grown Thanksgiving Dinner” where it was suggested that “a house bright with flowers, autumn leaves, and colorful fruits sets the stage for a happy day.” The artist signature is simply “Kay.”


“Lady on a Stool” by Manning De V. Lee

Lady on a Stool by Manning De V. Lee From September 1936
“Lady on a Stool”
by Manning De V. Lee
From September 1936

I couldn’t resist this stylish lady illustrating a September 1936 article called, “The Good Things Autumn Brings.” “Here is the quince,” the author writes, “greenish in color, hard, dry, and quite inedible when raw. But after preserving, it becomes reddish amber in color and has a flavor that only a quince preserve can have. It seems that nothing less than magic could make such a change. What happened to turn the inedible quince into a delicious preserve?”


“Boy Stealing Apples” by J.F. Kernan

Boy Stealing Apples by J.F. Kernan From October 20, 1923
“Harvest Moon”
by Phil Lyford
From October 1934

A 1923 cover by J.F. Kernan shows another one of “the good things autumn brings”—a harvest of sweet, ripe apples! The only problem is the boy ignored the “No Trespassing” sign, and the farmer is raring for justice.


“Harvest Moon” by Phil Lyford

Harvest Moon by Phil Lyford From October 1934
“Harvest Moon”
by Phil Lyford
From October 1934

Speaking of harvest, there is nothing like a bright harvest moon hanging low in the sky. This October 1934 cover by artist Phil Lyford shows that springtime is not the only season for romance.

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  • Frank James Davis

    Extremely tasteful examples which–beautifully and effectively–portray Autumn.
    Compliments of the increasingly-magical Denny touch.

  • Frances

    Thank you for the wonderful covers. They illustrate a time when life was simpler and the world was saner, and when honesty, integrity, working for the common good, and wholesomeness were commonplace.