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Just Beachy

Published: August 12, 2015

Celebrate a century of beachgoing with these sun-sational covers. You might have sand in your shoes for a week afterward, but that’s a small price to pay.

Summertime, 1927 – J.C. Leyendecker
For guys and gals alike, sharp style is a must to complement even the most radiant bronzed glow.

J.C. Leyendecker August 27, 1927

J.C. Leyendecker
August 27, 1927


King of the Beach – J.C. Leyendecker
Armed with trusty life preserver, the guard holds court over his sun-toasted subjects with all the regality of a king and twice the jawline.

J.C. Leyendecker September 3, 1932

J.C. Leyendecker
September 3, 1932


Joys of Summer – Norman Rockwell
Et tu, ice cream? Getting lost in a spiraling forest of umbrellas isn’t especially ideal when you’ve got cool treats on hand rapidly turning to Neapolitan soup.

Norman Rockwell July 13, 1940

Norman Rockwell
July 13, 1940


Palefaces at the Beach – Constantin Alajalov
A prayer for some cloud cover might be in order if this ghostly couple wants to remain distinguishable from overcooked lobsters by day’s end.

Constantin Alajalov July 27, 1946

Constantin Alajalov
July 27, 1946


Baby at the Beach – Austin Briggs
The tugboat may capsize when the tide arrives, but for one new to the sights and smells of the seaside, witnessing the frothy waves curl into the sand probably beats just about any plastic trinket.

Austin Briggs July 23, 1949

Austin Briggs
July 23, 1949


Baby & Nail Polish – Stevan Dohanos
With Mom preoccupied, this baby can pick up a few early glamour lessons, though it would appear she hasn’t quite mastered coloring inside the lines.

Stevan Dohanos July 22, 1950

Stevan Dohanos
July 22, 1950


Thunderstorm at the Shore – Ben Kimberly Prins
So much for fun in the sun. If the obsidian cloudbursts weren’t enough, a few peals of lightning are good reason to send sunbathers and picnickers packing.

Ben Kimberly Prins July 10, 1954

Ben Kimberly Prins
July 10, 1954


Babysitter at Beach Stand – George Hughes
Who says you can’t mix work and play? Sipping a soda and rocking a bonnet-clad tot, this babysitter just might perfect the art of multitasking as long as that begrudging chef doesn’t boil the milk.

George Hughes August 28, 1954

George Hughes
August 28, 1954


Big Pole Little Fish – Richard Sargent
There’s plenty of fish in the sea, but the odds of this fellow catching one bigger than a guppy might be doubtful, especially with a snickering chorus of freckled critics present.

Richard Sargent September 1, 1956

Richard Sargent
September 1, 1956


Sunscreen? – Kurt Ard
Even with enough lotion globbed on to withstand most natural disasters, some are just bound to flake under the harsh afternoon rays. Of course, where some see searing obstacles, others see opportunities to pick up a glorious golden sheen.

Kurt Ard September 16, 1958

Kurt Ard
September 16, 1958


Eavesdropping on Love – Amos Sewell
Forget frolicking in the surf when there’s romantic comedy of this caliber to be had.

Amos Sewell August 13, 1960

Amos Sewell
August 13, 1960


Cold Water Swimmer – Richard Sargent
Perhaps auditioning for the Polar Bear Club under the disgruntled gaze of that swaddled lifeguard, this brave swimmer can have the entire shore to himself, as long as he doesn’t mind a touch of hypothermia. Like age, temperature is just a number.

Richard Sargent June 17, 1961

Richard Sargent
June 17, 1961

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  • All of these covers are wonderful, but the Ben Prins cover (7/10/54 is potentially frightening due to the real risk from lightning these people are suddenly facing. In a situation like this you need to get out–fast.

  • Evelyn McGee

    I LOVE Saturday Evening Post! I’ve read it since I was a young woman, and now at 86 I still enjoy it. Keep it up!!!

  • Judie Kopfman

    I am so glad that I subscribe to the Saturday Evening Post. Us kids in our family were raised on the Post, always enjoyed the cover pictures and went wild cutting out things we decided to keep on our own. Thank you for bringing back memories.