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.
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.
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.
In the mid-1800s, the Standard Poodle became a popular circus performer because of its intelligence and stamina.
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 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 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.
Maurice Bower primarily painted horses and sports scenes for the Post; this was his only cover featuring dogs.
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!
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.
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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