“Woman in Black Hat” by Penrhyn Stanlaws
Penrhn Stanlaws was born in 1877 in Dundee, Scotland. A prominent illustrator of the 1910s through 30s, his ladies would show up everywhere from cigarette ads to the covers of Colliers, The Ladies’ Home Journal and The Saturday Evening Post. This 1913 cover was one of his first for the Post, and shows just how sophisticated a doe-eyed young lady could be. As an interesting aside, note where it says at bottom left, “Interview With.” Cut off are the words: Theodore Roosevelt.
“Bouquet of Roses” by Penrhyn Stanlaws
Typical of the thirty-seven Post covers Stanlaws painted, we have a stylishly dressed, rather haughty lady and a hat to die for. The artist frequently used props (in addition to the dazzling chapeaus) such as bouquets or coffee cups.
About the name: Stanlaws was born Stanley Adamson. His brother, Sydney Adamson, was also an illustrator so Stanley changed his name to avoid confusion. Some might say that it would be difficult to come up with a name as confusing as Penrhyn Stanlaws, however.
“Elegant Lady Drinking Cup of Tea” by Penrhyn Stanlaws
The pretty teacup punctuates this 1926 painting. This was the year George Burns married Gracie Allen, the dance craze was the Charleston and Harry Houdini died. And elegant ladies wearing dead animals sipped tea.
“Lady in Wide Brimmed Hat” by Penrhyn Stanlaws
A reprint favorite, this 1928 cover is elegantly chic. Gift idea: Paired with the 1926 cover above, these two framed prints make a gorgeous wall display.
The ever-interesting Mr. Stanlaws dabbled with more than just paint: he played a key role in building the now historic Hotel des Artistes on West 67th Street in New York and even directed some silent Hollywood films in the 20s.
“Billboard Painters” by Penrhyn Stanlaws
The next time you see a billboard, it might be good to remember the days when they were painstakingly and skillfully hand-painted, a job taking days. The process must have been fascinating to observers. And what a treat to see this chic lady emerge. There is something about the model…could this be the same profile as the lady with the wide-brimmed hat above?
“Woman in Black” by Penrhyn Stanlaws
This lady is the very picture of urbanity in black, with white gloves and netted hat. From 1934, this is one of the final covers Stanlaws did for the Post.
The artist passed away in 1957. Note his distinctive signature: the capital “S” is resting in a circle of contrasting color.
For reprint information, contact Janie Mahoney at Curtis Publishing: [email protected] Questions about Post covers or other archive-related issues should be addressed to Diana at [email protected], or simply by leaving a comment below.