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Celebrate Women Artists: Sarah Stilwell-Weber

Published: March 2, 2016

Sarah Stilwell-Weber was one of The Saturday Evening Post’s most sought after artists. She even turned down Post editor George Horace Lorimer’s offer to have regularly scheduled pieces because she didn’t want to work on another’s deadline. Between 1904 and 1925, her work was featured on over 60 covers of both the Post and The Country Gentleman (a sister publication of the Post).

A student of famous illustrator Howard Pyle and the Drexel Institute in Philadelphia, one of the top art schools in the country, Stilwell-Weber captured a lighter side of the Victorian Era and the early 20th century in her work. Her young subjects were often on the move, playing games and exploring the world around them. Her mentor, Howard Pyle, told her never to marry, as it would interfere with her artistic life. However, she ignored him and married anyway.

While the children are forming their own marching band, Mom and Dad wonder if Santa takes returns.

Boy with drum, girl with horn, doll

Children Playing Music on Christmas Toys
Sarah Stilwell-Weber
December 5, 1908

 

 

Forget flower crowns, these girls made a flower cape for their May Day parade grand marshal.

Children dancing under arch of flowers

Children’s May Day Parade
Sarah Stilwell-Weber
May 2, 1914

 

 

Is there anything better than splashing in waves, soaking up sun, and building sand castles?

Small girl with sandpail in surf

Little Girl with Bucket at Beach
Sarah Stilwell-Weber
August 1, 1914

 

 

In the early 1900s, the Post covers were printed with a “duotone” two-color process: black and another color, usually red. This process is what makes the umbrella, flowers, and rosy cheeks on this little girl and her doll pop.

Little girl with a parasol and her doll

Girl with Parasol and Doll
Sarah Stilwell-Weber
September 4, 1915

 

 

House cats are just too tame. This stylish young woman dared to make a leopard her pet.

Woman with leopard

Lady and Leopard
Sarah Stilwell-Weber
January 29, 1916

 

 

While many Post covers just show portraits of pretty young women, Stilwell-Weber adds life and movement to the traditional medium. This woman joins in the children’s fun after a stray snowball almost hits her.

Lady throwing a snowball

Lady Throwing Snowball
Sarah Stilwell-Weber
March 3, 1917

 

 

Rolling her way straight into your heart, this tot on wheels is ready for a hug.

Roller-skating girl pulled by her friend

Roller-skating
Sarah Stilwell-Weber
July 12, 1919

 

 

With that mischievous grin, this little one could be gathering momentum to jump or complete a loop-de-loop over the tree branch.

Girl standing on a moving swing in an apple tree.

Swinging in the Apple Tree
Sarah Stiwell-Weber
August 15, 1925

 

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