Classic Covers: Pull Up a Chair

As a prop or a story device, of humble wood or elaborately patterned, artists have furnished their paintings with interesting chairs.

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As a prop or a story device, of humble wood or elaborately patterned, artists have furnished their paintings with interesting chairs.

Coles Phillips’ Glamor

Seated Woman - Coles Phillips
Seated Woman
Coles Phillips
February 17, 1923

This gorgeous cover from 1923 was by artist Coles Phillips, a friend of Norman Rockwell’s. Phillips was also an illustrator for Life magazine, and his lithe ladies also adorned about 10 Post covers. Here, he found an exquisite backdrop for his lovely model.

Harrison Fisher’s Angle

"Seated Woman, Adoring Dog at Her Feet" - Harrison Fisher
Seated Woman, Adoring Dog at Her Feet
Harrison Fisher
December 11, 1909

Years ago, I fell in love with an antique corner chair similar to this one. Alas, it was out of my price range. I’ll just have to be content admiring this one from a 1909 Post cover. Artist Harrison Fisher did many covers of beautiful ladies, but this one is from a particularly interesting angle.

Gene Pelham’s New Chair

"New Chair" - Gene Pelham
“New Chair”
Gene Pelham
April 25, 1942

Where there’s a chair, there’s a woman deciding where best to place it. For the sake of the deliveryman, let’s hope she decides soon. This is from 1942 by an artist named Gene Pelham.

Norman Rockwell’s Interior Design

"Decorator" - Norman Rockwell
Norman Rockwell
March 30, 1940

The master of the house is viewing the situation with trepidation. Can’t a guy read his paper and smoke his pipe in peace without some female wanting to change things? This 1940 cover is modern and pretty—a very “un-Rockwellian” Norman Rockwell.

John Falter’s Humorous Twist

"Broken Antique Chair" - John Falter
Broken Antique Chair
John Falter
June 20, 1959

Beware of trying out chairs in antique stores! “After years of observing ancient chairs tremble and sway and utter squeaks of alarm,” noted the editors, “we’re relieved to see one of them (with somebody else in it) go ahead and decompose.” Well, that’s not a very noble sentiment, is it? One wonders if the shop has a sign posted that says, “If You Break It, You Buy It.”

Norman Rockwell’s Relaxed Fit

"Candy" - Norman Rockwell
Norman Rockwell
June 27, 1925

So many features argue against this 1925 cover being by Norman Rockwell—but it is. Rockwell liked faces with “character” over pretty models, but he seems to have chosen beauty in this case. The artist kept a supply of well-worn clothing and scuffed shoes for his models, but this lady is nicely attired. And Rockwell was also known to scrounge around town for the scruffiest looking mutts for a painting rather than this uncharacteristically well-cared-for cutie. So maybe it’s not a group of ragged urchins getting into mischief—at least the lovely wing chair is authentic and makes for a delightful cover!

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  1. I love Diana Denny’s classic POST cover theme this week, and the covers and artists featured. Harrison Fisher and Coles Phillips are two favorites of mine. The 1909 cover is just so beautiful on a number of levels.

    As for the 1959 John Falter cover, the shopkeeper is definitely not amused. I do believe the poor man had to buy that darn chair, most likely at full price. Yeah, the more I look at it, the more sure I am.

  2. If this were a cartoon collection, it would probably be entitled “Sit on It!”
    Thought this was a novel idea that worked quite well–due almost entirely to Ms. Denny’s informative, entertaining and stylish presentation. The gal brings perceptible enthusiasm to her work.
    A genuine pleasure to peruse.


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