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Cover Gallery: Dogs with Jobs

Published: January 25, 2017

 

Dogs running

Three Foxhounds
Paul Bransom
February 16, 1907

Paul Bransom illustrated numerous animal covers for the Post. A longtime resident of New York City, Bransom spent summers at Canada Lake in the Adirondacks, where he found much of his inspiration.

 

Man and a U.S. flag with some huskies

Robert E. Peary with Huskies at North Pole
Oliver Kemp
October 16, 1909

Peary made numerous attempts to reach the North Pole, many with the assistance of sled dogs. Whether he actually reached the North Pole is widely debated.

 

A dog wearing Red Cross symbols, holding a doughboy helmet

Red Cross Dog
Charles Bull
November 23, 1918

During World War I, dogs were used to locate wounded soldiers on the battlefield and bring back help. Approximately 10,000 dogs were in use by the end of the war.

 

A dog jumps through a circus hoop, held by a clown

Circus Dog
J. C. Leyendecker
July 29, 1922

In the mid-1800s, the Standard Poodle became a popular circus performer because of its intelligence and stamina.

 

A hobo and his dog escape with a pie

Fleeing Hobo
Norman Rockwell
August 18, 1928

The dog has long served in the role of family guardian. Norman Rockwell had earlier portrayed dogs with “hobos” who were down on their luck, but this was the first illustration of the culprit getting a nip in the seat!

 

An old hunter pets his spaniel on an autumn morning

Hunter and Spaniel
J. F. Kernan
November 3, 1928

An athlete and outdoorsman, artist Joseph Francis Kernan was known as the “poor man’s Norman Rockwell.” But Kernan was a superb illustrator in his own right. His art featured, as he described it, “the human side of outdoor sports, hunting, fishing, and dogs.”

 

A fireman, a boy, and a dalmation run towards a burning house

To the Rescue
Norman Rockwell
March 28, 1931

A new approach to painting developed by Jay Hambridge  – “dynamic symmetry” – was emerging, and Rockwell’s artist friends told him that he had better begin using it. This painting was his first attempt at the technique. Rockwell deemed the idea a failure, and gave the painting to a cousin who lived in Philadelphia. He vowed never to wander from the time-tested formulas that had worked so well in the past.

 

Hounds pulling a sled through the snow

Sled Dog
Maurice Bower
February 29, 1936

Maurice Bower primarily painted horses and sports scenes for the Post; this was his only cover featuring dogs.

 

Male cheerleaders and their dog look pensively at a game

Cheerleaders
Lonie Bee
November 18, 1939

All of Lonie Bee’s cover illustrations were about the lighter side of sports – in this illustration, the dog seems as sad as the cheerleaders!

 

Greyhounds in profile

Greyhounds
Paul Bransom
March 29, 1941

In the 1930s, dog racing was illegal, and considered by many to be unsavory because of its affiliation with mobsters. When Bransom painted this cover in 1941, only four states had legalized greyhound racing: Florida, Oregon, Massachusetts, and Arizona.

 

A dalmatian tends to her puppies while a fire truck speeds from the station

Dalmatian and Pups
Stevan Dohanos
January 13, 1945

After painting 123 covers for the Post, Stevan Dohanos became chairman of the National Stamp Advisory Committee where he oversaw the art design for over 300 stamps. His depictions include presidential portraits, NATO commemorative stamps from 1959, and the 1967 John F. Kennedy commemorative stamp.

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  • Colette Sasina

    Dogs are God’s endearing gift to us.

  • All beautiful selections representing a wide variety of dogs and situations. I love dogs very much and each cover says so much! The angle of the three Foxhounds at the top, the Red Cross dog taking his job seriously, the fleeing hobo getting a bite. I like the Rockwell cover conveying motion, it’s really good. It was used again as a cover not long after 9/11.

    J.F. Kernan’s cover is wonderful. I’d never think of him as a poor man’s Norman Rockwell at all. The Maurice Bower cover of the dogs in action is incredible. The 3 Greyhounds is striking, and the Dalmation and pups very heartwarming. I’d want to adopt one of them when they’d be a little older. They still need their mother a while longer. There are either 7 or 8 (?) pups I counted.

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