Classic Covers: Autumn Art

The magnificent maple on the October 27, 1956, cover was a century-old beauty in Atchison, Kansas. Artist John Falter claimed if he had painted the whole tree, that week’s issue of the Post would have been 3 feet tall. To the boys, however, it is simply a background to gridiron season. To us, it’s a nearly perfect autumn cover.

The charming scene of children attempting to get friendly with an irresistible colt is one of the many beautiful landscapes John Clymer did for the Post. Little Sis is a bit leery, but her brother knows his way around horses. Clymer also loved horses, as we see on the October 20, 1956, cover of the two horseback riders against multihued tamaracks in Washington State. Alas, the young man seems more interested in observing his blushing riding partner than in the blushing tints of the trees.

If you’re over 40, we’re willing to bet you have four distinct autumn memories from childhood:

<em>Walking Home Through Leaves</em> by John Clymer, October 7, 1950
Walking Home Through Leaves by John Clymer, October 7, 1950

1) Shuffling through the leaves on your way home, as depicted in the October 7, 1950, cover of the boy, girl, and dog (also by artist John Clymer).

2) Playing in a pile of freshly raked leaves, like the boy in Clymer’s October 16, 1954, cover. (Isn’t that why you rake them in the first place?)

3) Burning leaves, as the man and boy on J.C. Leyendecker’s November 6, 1937, cover and the couple on artist John Newton Howitt’s December 1936 cover are doing.

4) The chill of an autumn rain, captured on Clymer’s October 20, 1962, cover. “If there is a puddle to be found, kids will find it and walk in it,” the artist said.

Autumn also celebrates the harvest, as we see in artist Mead Schaeffer’s October 1948 cover. And flying south for the winter, as the mallards are doing on another gorgeous Clymer cover from October 1957. And hayrides! The young folks on Alan Foster’s September 30, 1933, cover enjoy the crisp evening air. If you click on the image and observe, it raises an interesting question: When is the last time you wore a tie and spiffy shoes on a hayride, such as the young man with the ukulele? Never mind—they’re having a blast.