Classrooms may have changed from pencils to PowerPoint, but the Saturday Evening Post has always been there to witness sending our kids back to school.
Robert C. Kauffmann painted five covers for the Post, on a variety of subjects from pets to water skiers. With their backs to the viewer, we can only guess what these two are feeling about the first day of school.
Frances Tipton Hunter was one of the most nationally recognized artists in Post history, depicting childhood in a style similar to Norman Rockwell. Most kids grow about 2 inches each year, so this mother likely has a lot of work ahead of her.
This is one time when the kids look happier than the dogs do about going to school.
When Stevan Dohanos painted his picture of the first day of school, the children were brimming with excitement—not because they were posing for a cover, but because the day in question was a great day indeed. It was actually the last day of school, in June.
Artist George Hughes painted this scene at Bennington College, in Vermont, which operates a nursery school. “Do you ask me if I have any children of my own?” Hughes mutters. “Only five girls. The one who is crying on the cover is, of course, mine.”
If artist George Hughes hadn’t stationed the young lifesaver on that corner, would that man have stepped dreamily into the street, just missed being nicked by the car, and then blamed it in loud words on the driver?
Regarding that impending touchdown, we bet the teacher knows enough football to rule it illegal—ball was snapped after the school bell rang.
Artist Thornton Utz vows that when he was very little he liked school so much that he asked his folks if he couldn’t also go to night school. In time he got over that aberration.
In mother’s ears is a faint, faraway ringing—would it be an echo of the youthful din that has dinned in her ears all summer, or does she think she hears what she is merely imagining, a school bell ringing? Anyway, peace.
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