Mother’s Day: A Tribute in Classic Illustrations

In this gallery, the Post commemorates the fun — and just as frequently the frustration — of motherhood.

(© SEPS)

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An old Jewish proverb says that God couldn’t be everywhere, so He created mothers. And mothers do have certain godlike qualities. Not only do they give us life, but they are our counselors, confidantes, protectors, disciplinarians, and teachers. But for all their love and sacrifice, moms seldom get the recognition they deserve. In this gallery, the Post commemorates the fun — and just as frequently the frustration — that motherhood entails.

Never a Dull Moment

Telling Mom about Her Date
George Hughes
January 24, 1953

First date. An awkward and exhilarating rite of passage in a teen’s — and mother’s — life. Time stands still for the starry-eyed daughter (above) who can’t wait till dawn to riff about her big night out. Time also seems to come to a halt in the run-up to the big Gold and Green Dance (below). Can a boy survive his mom’s ministrations?

Readying for First Date
George Hughes
October 16, 1948


Separation Anxiety
Stevan Dohanos
September 3, 1955



The doctor will see you now. A waiting room full of distractions keeps anxiety in check for some young patients and their moms, but clearly not for all.

Behind the Scenes

Mother’s Little Helpers
John Falter
April 18, 1953

Cooking up something sweet. A special surprise lurks behind the kitchen door courtesy of a culinary crew only a mom could love.


Morning Coffee Break
Amos Sewell
September 12, 1959

Morning glory. With the brood now safely off to school, this mom finally gets to kick back for some well-deserved “me time.”

It’s the Thought That Counts

Shopping for Mother’s Day
Constantin Alajálov
May 10, 1947

What to buy? 1940s-era stereotypes about the limits of a mother’s desires seem to have narrowed a daughter’s options.


Happy Mother’s Day
Richard Sargent
May 11, 1957

Good news, bad news. Wet, muddy, and full of enthusiasm, a boy and his dog announce a “special delivery”.

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  1. The one here I was less familiar with here is Alajalov’s ’47 cover. I don’t doubt (seriously) that there were displays like this featuring “gifts” for household chores. No perfume, flowers, or a box of See’s chocolates for these moms.

    Can’t you just picture Ralph giving Alice on ‘The Honeymooners’ a broom or pan for Mother’s Day if she was a mother? I can, and the exchange wouldn’t be nice!

    Beverly, you’re wonderful! This website goes perfectly with the magazine.


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