Classic Covers: Equal Time for Cats!

So many covers featured a boy and his dog. A while back, we did a feature on Rockwell dogs and recently we even showed ladies and their dogs. Well, enough I say! Equal time for cats!

Gathering Wood by John Clymer

Gathering Wood
John Clymer
January 27, 1951

Ah, the deep, cold Minnesota winter as painted by wonderful landscape artist John Clymer. If you’re wondering what the large, egg-shaped structures in the background are, as I was, they are snow-covered bales of hay. The face of the boy we can see is still enjoying the winter and the dog seems content. But notice the felines at the bottom heading in. Where there’s firewood, there must be a fire to cozy up to. Cats are my kind of people.

Seated Woman with Big Cat in Her Lap by Harrison Fisher

Seated Woman with Big Cat in Her Lap
Harrison Fisher
November 7, 1908

Here’s a beauty from 1908. Artist Harrison Fisher did over eighty Saturday Evening Post covers of lovely ladies, and this one has a bonus gorgeous feline. We showed you many Harrison Fisher ladies in stunning hats in our April cover piece, “Kentucky Derby Fashion Tips”. He was so well known for his paintings of beautiful ladies that they were known as the Harrison Fisher girls, and yes, reprints are available at

Passing the Blame by K.R. Wireman

Passing the Blame
K.R. Wireman
February 26, 1923

I couldn’t resist showing this Country Gentleman cover once more. CG was a sister publication to the Post for many, many decades. This little tot by artist K.R. Wireman has learned early to pass the buck. Well, a case could be made that the cat is black from knocking over the coal bucket, but we think the evidence points elsewhere.

Kitty Cooldown by Parker Cushman

Kitty Cooldown
Parker Cushman
September 9, 1916

On a hot day, kitty needs a turn in front of the fan, too. This adorable cover was by an artist named Parker Cushman in 1916. I can find very little about his artist, but he did three cute covers of children for the Post.

Cat Fight by Charles Livingston Bull

Cat Fight
Charles Livingston Bull
May 5, 1917

The greatest cat lovers will admit that they aren’t always adorable. Charles Livingston Bull was a great wildlife painter, and it doesn’t get much wilder than two felines going at each other. I can hear the howls now!

Cat Guards Bowl of Milk by Robert L. Dickey

Cat Guards Bowl of Milk
Robert L. Dickey
February 27, 1926

Give ‘em heck, kitty! No matter how adorable the dogs may be, this feisty kitten from 1926 is not sharing her bowl of milk. Cats are the original divas. Artist Robert L. Dickey was known for his animal paintings, particularly horses. He did six other covers for the Post, all of dogs. He certainly nailed this kitty’s attitude.

Girl and Three Cats by Sarah Stilwell-Weber

Girl with Three Cats
Sarah Stilwell-Weber
August 20, 1910

We’ve shown many Sarah Stilwell-Weber covers, but this is a nearly-forgotten one from 1910. This young lady has her hands full of cute. Stilwell-Weber was a popular artist of children and did sixty-five covers for the Post and Country Gentleman magazines between 1904-1925 (yes, each more adorable than the next).

Classic Covers: August Cool-Down

Is there any relief from this heat? Yes! It’s August, and the dog days of summer are upon us, but we found delightful covers from 1912 to 1955 showing ways to get wet and cool down. We wouldn’t recommend all of them.

Swimming Hole by Norman Rockwell

A delivery truck driver cools off in a lake.
Swimming Hole
Norman Rockwell
August 11, 1945
© SEPS 1945

This is a charming story-in-a-picture of a salesman making a long drive on a hot August day. No air conditioning in the car, of course. He spots a swimming hole, pulls over and goes for it. He carefully lays his glasses on a newspaper and his lit cigar on his shoe, to be picked up when he emerges (Rockwell was all about details). And then shows us a face of pure bliss. “George Zimmer, my model,” reported Norman Rockwell, “was an awful good sport. He stripped and I poured several buckets of water over his head to get the effect.” And you thought modeling was easy!

Drink of Water by Frank X. Leyendecker

A jockey and his horse takes a drink of water out of a fountain.
Drink of Water
Frank X. Leyendecker
August 22, 1914
© SEPS 1914

We love this cover from August of 1914 by artist Frank X. Leyendecker (brother of Post cover artist J.C.). Frank did sixteen Post covers, and this one is delightful. Delivering papers in August is hot, tiring work, and the kid deserves a cool drink. The fact that his drinking buddy happens to be a horse doesn’t concern him.

Watering Father by Richard Sargent

A boy pours water on his sunbathing father.
Watering Father
Richard Sargent
June 4, 1955
© SEPS 1955

We’d all like to see this scene three seconds later, but this is what we have to work with. While Mom is busy planting and watering flowers, Junior is thinking Dad’s pasty white skin needs a cool-down. Whether Dad agreed it was a good idea is a mystery left up to the viewer. Sargent was great with humorous scenes and a master at the pregnant pause, the “what-happens-next” moment.

Wet Swim Suit by Clarence F. Underwood

An early 20th century woman wringing out her wet swim suit.
Wet Swim Suit
Clarence F. Underwood
August 24, 1912
© SEPS 1912

We know, you’re shocked. A pretty young lady in a swimsuit on the cover of the staid and venerable Saturday Evening Post. And in 1912 yet! Well, even young ladies in 1912 deserved a cool-down. At least we don’t have to wring out the heavy skirts of our swimsuits these days. Artist Clarence F. Underwood did over forty Post covers. Even though most of them were in the 19-teens, many showed active women: fishing, playing tennis, canoeing, even plowing a field. Of course, they looked surprisingly pretty doing all this.

Sitting on the Diving Board by Penrhyn Stanlaws

A young woman sits on a diving board.
Sitting On the Diving Board
Penrhyn Stanlaws
August 19, 1933
© 1933 SEPS.

My, how bathing suits changed in a mere twenty-one years! In a swimsuit more suited for immersion, the pretty lady from 1933 is just dipping her toes in the water. Go figure. Curtis Publishing ( shows many gorgeous Stanlaws covers, usually of lovely young ladies holding a teacup or bouquet. He did a total of thirty-seven Post covers between 1913 and 1938. (Warning: if you look up his covers on the Curtis website, you’ll want to buy prints of them all.)

Cool Bear by Charles Livingston Bull

A bear cooling off in a lake.
Cool Bear
Charles Livingston Bull
August 19, 1922
© SEPS 1922

Then there’s the total immersion therapy. This is from Country Gentleman magazine (a sister publication) in 1922 by great wildlife artist, Charles Livingston Bull. If that water looks good to you, a word of advice: Find another place to cool down.