Charles Kaiser (1893- ) grew up knowing an entirely different era of art history than the one he would help shape in the twentieth century.
Kaiser’s arc of five cover illustrations for The Saturday Evening Post between May of 1942 and August of 1943 centered the emotional experience surrounding the holidays.
His illustrations are still engaging largely thanks to the expressive faces of his characters: a young boy smiling as he bites into watermelon on the Fourth of July; a spooked little girl peeking out from behind a witch’s mask on Halloween; or Lady Luck hiding her war bond stamps in her cap, her face full of excitement and anticipation.
Originally from Buffalo, New York, Kaiser headed to the heart of the Midwest to study art and illustration under artist Henry George Keller in Cleveland, Ohio. After his apprenticeship, Kaiser headed to the big city to strive for his dream and make a name for himself in the art world. He moved to Greenwich Village in New York City to find work as an illustrator. He succeeded, and was made a member of the Society of Illustrators relatively early in life, but then resigning from his longstanding membership in the organization by 1940 at the age of 47.
Interestingly enough, it was after his resignation from the society that illustration work from The Saturday Evening Post poured in.