Classic Covers: “Covering America” Art Show

The Post is proudly showing off paintings it made famous in your parents’ living rooms each week.

A boy looks at his mother while she sings in church.

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The Post is proudly showing off paintings it made famous in your parents’ living rooms each week. The “Covering America” Art Show will be in Lafayette, Indiana (at the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette) from May 21 – September 11, 2010, with plans in the works for future exhibitions. From stunning landscapes to rousing brass bands, from churches to baseball fields, The Saturday Evening Post cover artists presented America during the 1950s and 1960s like no other medium. Come take a peek!

A boy looks at his mother while she sings in church.
Singing Praise, Dick Sargent, March 7, 1959

 

 

Singing Praise
Dick Sargent – March 7, 1959

“Never before has that little boy heard anything like Mrs. Bellows,” the editors said of this painting. Typical of artist Dick Sargent’s delightful humor, “Singing Praise” was a cover in March 1959. We don’t have to tell you the boy’s face is priceless (but we’ll say it anyway).

Kids walk home from school in the rain.
Walking Home in the Rain, John Clymer, October 20, 1962

Walking Home in the Rain
John Clymer – October 20, 1962

The exhibit features several John Clymer covers, and this one from 1962 combines the artist’s talent for painting nature with a charming scene of children walking home in a chill autumn rain. The artist came across the scene in Rockport, Massachusetts while traveling and “looking for Americana”. “If there is a puddle to be found,” the artist noted, “kids will find it and walk in it.” Well, gee, isn’t that what boots are for?

Two kids argue with the construction workers who parked their equipment on their baseball diamond.
Construction Crew, Norman Rockwell, August 21, 1954

Construction Crew
Norman Rockwell – August 21, 1954

This is progress? Home plate is giving way to the bulldozer for a new house. Always one for authenticity, Norman Rockwell found the boys by knocking on doors in Stockbridge and asking for members of the Little League team. Some were used as models in later covers. Is the tiny boy sucking his fingers too cute or what?

A brass band plays to an audience at a Fourth of July concert.
Patriotic Band Concert, Stevan Dohanos, July 7, 1951

Patriotic Band Concert
Stevan Dohanos – July 7, 1951

Stevan Dohanos did over 120 memorable Post covers, and readers loved this one from 1951. There is a lot going on at this Fourth of July concert in Delhi, New York. Grandparents listening, dogs and kids checking things out, sailors chatting, and tiny tots are having meltdowns. The editors noted, “When Dohanos set up his easel opposite Town Hall, passers-by forgathered to see why, and the first thing they knew, the were on canvas.”

A teenage jazz group listen impatiently to their keyboardist's dad play the piano.
Jamming With Dad, John Falter, December 1, 1956

Jamming with Dad
John Falter – December 1, 1956

Dad crashes junior’s jam session and the guys are, well, less than enthused. Artist John Falter also did well over 100 Saturday Evening Post covers, and life with kids was a favorite topic. Note the college band photo on the wall – straw boaters and all. The photo montage of jazz greats gives us a clue to the type of music dad finds cool, and the kids…well, let’s just say they don’t dig all that jazz.

A salesman eyes the St. Bernard that a woman brought into his lamp store.
St. Bernard in Lamp Shop, George Hughes, October 25, 1952

St. Bernard in Lamp Shop
George Hughes – October 25, 1952

Another frequent Post cover artist, George Hughes, clearly sympathizes with the nervous clerk in this painting from 1952. Editors noted, “it can be said in this lady’s favor that she would not take a bull into a china shop.” One swipe of Bernie’s tail would probably make the point moot.

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Comments

  1. What do you call it when an artist sketches your likeness, then pays you twenty-five cents for the privilege?
    Being drawn and quartered.

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