Classic Art: A Century of Christmas

Art for a jolly holiday filled with sweet, holy, and amusing spirits. Your Christmas bonus: A 19th-century Christmas tale from our archive.

All Wrapped Up by George Hughes

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We’re sharing The Saturday Evening Post Christmas memories dating back to — are you ready? — 1875 …

A Christmas After-Dinner Dream by Kate Greenaway

“A Christmas After-Dinner Dream” by Kate Greenaway

A Christmas After-Dinner Dream
by Kate Greenaway


It’s 1875 and The Saturday Evening Post is more like an oversized newspaper than the slick magazine we’ve known in our lifetime. So imagine turning to the last page of the paper, and seeingthis Kate Greenaway drawing. If you’d like to know what all of that craziness in the girl’s dream is about, we have a special Christmas gift for you: the accompanying story “A Christmas After-Dinner Dream” in all its Victorian charm. Click here to read “A Christmas After-Dinner Dream” by Charles Morris.

Angels by Charles Louis Hinton

"Angels” by Charles Louis Hinton

by Charles Louis Hinton


“Full soon the midnight bells, that through the year tolled out the passing days, rang joyously, and all the East was radiant with the Star,” reads the 1898 Christmas story, “Legends of the Child Who Is King” by none other than legendary SEP publisher, George Horace Lorimer. The exquisite artwork is by Charles Louis Hinton.

Is He Coming? by Norman Rockwell

“Is He Coming?” by Norman Rockwell

Is He Coming?
by Norman Rockwell


Yes, Virginia, Norman Rockwell did artwork for publications other than The Saturday Evening Post.

These adorable children hoping for a glimpse of Santa were originally on the cover of Life magazine in 1920. And then they appeared on the cover of the Post in 1975. It would be interesting to know if there is other artwork out there that has appeared on the covers of two different publications.

Choir Boys Will Be Boys by Frances Tipton Hunter

“Choir Boys Will Be Boys” by Frances Tipton Hunter

Choir Boys Will Be Boys
by Frances Tipton Hunter


Awww, aren’t they little angels? We didn’t say perfect little angels. But at least they can set aside their differences long enough to sing of the joy of the season. This is from 1938 by Frances Tipton Hunter. If you haven’t had your fill of cute today, see more covers by this delightful artist:
“The Art of Frances Tipton Hunter.” Or click here for limericks inspired by this delightful cover.

All Wrapped Up in Christmas by Richard Sargent

“All Wrapped Up in Christmas” by Richard Sargent

All Wrapped Up in Christmas
by Richard Sargent


Some wrappers are all thumbs. Post editors suggested that he need not attach a tag: “It will be obvious that Pops was the one who wrapped the gift. And it will be just as apparent that he would go through this ordeal for one person only — the one he loves best.”

Christmas in Hiding by George Hughes

“Christmas in Hiding” by George Hughes

Christmas in Hiding
by George Hughes


This 1960 cover from artist George Hughes is one of my favorites. Mom and Dad are hiding gifts … and they are not alone. It would appear a mole has infiltrated the jackets hanging in the closet, and not the four-legged kind. It is not clear whether the spy gets away clean or not.

A special thank you to Dwight Lamb of the Post for scanning the 1875 story,
“A Christmas After-Dinner Dream,” and converting it into a readable format.

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  1. Great fun. I loved the covers, I agree that the George Hughes cover is wonderful. I wonder what the new Walt Disney movie is, perhaps “Swiss Family Robinson”. The 1875 story, “The after Christmas Diner Dream” was very enjoyable. Thank you so much. Merry Christmas to all of you at the Post.

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