From the lighthouses of Maine to the majestic Cascades of Oregon, The Saturday Evening Post has represented every state on its cover. Here are 50 of our favorites. (Apparently they were your favorites, too!)
Classrooms may have changed from pencils to PowerPoint, but our magazine has always been there to witness sending our kids back to school.
3. Tee Time
These covers show that golf is much more than a good walk spoiled. (It s a good day spoiled.)
Artist John Falter brought the fall season to life through his many covers for The Saturday Evening Post. This video highlights some of our favorites.
Over the decades, we’ve featured iconic images of Santa Claus on our December covers. Famed illustrators Norman Rockwell and J.C. Leyendecker created some of the most cherished depictions of St. Nick.
6. Time for Pie
Pie follows closely on the heels of turkey as the quintessential Thanksgiving dish. These pies plus recipes will inspire your pursuit of pastry.
From Grover Cleveland to Richard Nixon, The Saturday Evening Post featured many U.S. presidents on its covers in its nearly 200-year history.
With fluttering flags and steadfast soliders, the Post has honored the land of the free and the home of the brave.
These illustrations of jaunts gone wrong might make you re-think that summer road trip.
This moment of accomplishment has made frequent appearances on our covers, starting more than a hundred years ago.
June means the start of wedding season. These Post covers show beautiful brides of the twentieth century.
In this painting by prolific artist J.C. Leyendecker, he shows a solemn couple having their photograph taken. Leyendecker illustrated the nuptial moments of other pairs, including Romeo and Juliet and Henry V and Catherine Valois. It appears this couple has got the “wedded” part down, if not the “bliss.”
Catherine of Valois married Henry V in June of 1420 and later gave birth to Henry VI. Henry V died shortly after his son’s birth, leaving the young Catherine a widow and her infant son the King of England.
The groom doesn’t look too happy about this scenario. Given the line of enthusiastic groomsmen, the bride may not have enough energy for the honeymoon.
LaGatta had an uncanny knack for translating from model to canvas an appreciation and sensual perspective of the female figure. LaGatta began his artistic process by sketching the models in charcoal and pastels and then would almost always refine his interpretation into an oil painting. His subjects were sophisticated, upper-class men and women with long graceful figures and with classic clothing designs. His images gave the impression that the models didn’t have a care in the world, as in this 1939 cover of a couple running off after their wedding ceremony.
This 1940 bridal photograph was Wynn Richards’ one and only cover for the Saturday Evening Post. Richards was born “Martha Kinman Wynn” before marrying Dorsey Eugene Richards, according to her biography.. She opened her own photography studio in 1919, but left the business to a friend after a social scandal that involved her taking nude portraits of a local school teacher. Richards divorced her husband and left their son with his grandmother before opening a new portrait studio a few years later. Initially signing her work “Matsy Wynn Richards,” she learned that revealing her gender could hinder her career, and changed her signature to “Wynn Richards.” Richard’s work mostly appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Mademoiselle magazine.
[From the editors of the June 1, 1946 issue of the Post] Just after Constantin Alajalov finished his kid-sister painting, he set out from New York for Florida, to work on other cover assignments. The artist went by automobile, and sent back a short report on his three-day journey. The highways are full of displaced persons at the moment, sorting themselves out after the great disruption of war, and we think Alajalov’s account is a thumbnail picture of America in Transition. “The first day,” he wrote, “I picked up a corporal just back from Tokyo, hitch-hiking to Alabama to marry a girl there. The second day I picked up a marine hitch-hiking to Jacksonville, Florida, to get his wife. The third day I picked up a sailor who was going to Miami for any girl he could get.”
[From the editors of the May 29, 1954 Post] Away go the newly-marrieds into their brave new world and thank heaven it isn’t raining. John Clymer is nice about weather; on his covers it hardly ever rains. That church, says Clymer, is located in one state and the landscape in another state, and the honeymoon will take place in the state of bliss always visited on such trips.
[From the editors of the May 17, 1958 Post] Here come the bride and groom to carve the cake. Two-handed carving isn’t an efficient way to dismember food, but He and She have just become One and this is the tender symbol of their unity. They probably aren’t hungry; in a day or two food will become attractive, but right now they are not of this world, they are up in the clouds, in a state of bliss where folks subsist on love alone. Conversely, those youngsters have their feet on the ground and their eyes on the cake. Oh, the girls may save a few crumbs to put under their pillows to incite romantic dreaming, but the boys will put their cake where it belongs, and let’s hope they don’t consume enough to turn dreams into nightmares. Well, a toast to artist Ben Prins’ newlyweds: bon voyage, all the way through life!
In celebration of Armed Forces Day, we share our favorite covers featuring the brave people who served our country.
The weather may be dreary, but these rainy day covers will make you feel cheery!
Artist J. C. Leyendecker was well known for his Baby New Year illustrations that graced many Post covers from the 1910s through the 1940s. Our 1928 baby awaits the possible repeal of Prohibition, symbolized by “wet” weather.
The subjects in this illustration were likely artist Ellen Pyle’s own children; they served as the models in more than 20 of her Post covers.
[From the editors of the April 14, 1945 issue] Norman Rockwell suggested the idea to Atherton. The hatrack is in the hall of the Community House at Arlington, Vermont. Neighbors contributed the hats, coats and galoshes seen in the painting.
[From the editors of the July 17, 1945 issue] We imagine it is hard for anyone who has never sat on a Pacific spit kit of an island for months on end, contemplating the shapely curves of a can of tinned-pork products for emotional release, to understand Stevan Dohanos’ cover. After such soul-gnawing, a flickering, one-dimensional pin-up girl enlarged many times on an improvised screen must have the pulling power a naked electric-light bulb has for a moth. Most South Pacific movies are now first-run, sometimes world premieres; but when “Wilson” was shown on Okinawa before an audience just back from the front lines, there were eight air-raid interruptions, and the show assumed a three-and-a-half-hour Gone With the Wind proportion. Perhaps the reason why Dohanos’ G.I.’s are willing to sit in the rain is that their bucket seats are really magic carpets taking them home to Main Street for an hour or two.
[From the editors of the August 31, 1946 issue] The man who has determined to go fishing, Constantin Alajalov observed when he was in Florida, will go fishing until he catches a fish, in spite of bad weather. Alajalov determined to paint this truth. There were a few things on which he needed to refresh his recollection, but to do this, he needed only to go out in a boat on a similar day. We don’t know how long the average determined fisherman has to wait for a sunny day. We do know how long Alajalov had to wait to catch a rainy one. One fair day followed another. He waited three weeks.
[From the editors of the April 23, 1949 issue] This week’s Norman Rockwell cover depicts Ebbets Field, the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Here, the Dodgers are trailing the Pittsburgh Pirates 1-0 in the sixth inning. If the arbiters—left to right, Harry Goetz, Beans Reardon and Lou Jorda—call the game because of rain, the score will stand as is, and Pittsburgh will win. This irks the Brooklynites, who dislike having other teams win. In the picture, Clyde Sukeforth, a Brooklyn coach, could well be saying, “You may be all wet, but it ain’t raining a drop!” The huddled
Pittsburgher—Bill Meyer, Pirate manager—is doubtless retorting, “For the love of Abner Doubleday, how can we play ball in this cloudburst?”
[From the editors of the May 22, 1954 issue] Rather than be depressed by Mr. Dohanos’ soggy scene, note how the deluge has improved the situation. Any birthday party is fun, even if nothing more happens than the duly expected games, grub and slight fights between incompatible little boys. But to arrange for the routine confusion to be stepped up into the joyous chaos of a garden party dispersed by a cloudburst, that’s a charming innovation indeed. And how delightful it is to throw a party in or into a garage, where tools and other weapons are available for favors as well as paper hats, where joy can he so much more unconfined than in an ordinary living-room hullabaloo. Even that pony thinks, Bless the rain—no more work. Fortunately, there isn’t space here for what mother thinks.
[From the editors of the October 5, 1957 issue] Women can be such a handicap sometimes—“Aw, ma, halfbacks don’t wear rubbers. Next thing, you’ll want me to make touchdowns with my poncho on. Next thing, you’ll want me to run the end with an umbrella.” To which mother replies, “James, football men obey the quarterback’s signals or get benched. The bench is home. Now then, four, eleven, forty-four, hip—on rubbers!” Well, the maxim says that mothers know best, and if James catches cold by getting wet everywhere except his feet, let’s switch to the maxim that only Monday-morning quarterbacks think of everything. This might have been some action picture if Dick Sargent hadn’t rung in mother; yet let’s settle for the maxim that when it comes to painting, painters know best.
[From the editors of the March 22, 1958 issue] Of course, the children haven’t been frightened by Papa’s snoring, but by the awful sounds of Nature on an electrical rampage. So mother will gather them in her arms and love away their fear—mustn’t it be wonderful to be a mother? If that lightning is bedeviling a far-north state, it should signify the breaking up of a winter which certainly needed breaking up; and yet not long ago some northern areas had thunderstorms followed by the blankety-blankest descent of snow for thirty-something years. Let’s leave forecasting to the weatherman, who is welcome to it. Coby Whitmore’s man of the house, buried there in the bed, must be the deepest sleeper this side of the proverbial log. How does mother get him up mornings—rap on his head with the book?
[From the editors of the May 25, 1958 issue] This wet cover had its origin in a drought. When crops withered in the Eastern states last summer, the Rev. Benjamin Axleroad, seen there at the door of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Bridgewater, Conn., included in his prayers a plea for precipitation. And one Sunday, just as his service ended, down came the rain, exit drought. Weeks later artist Melbourne Brindle, a St. Mark’s vestryman, puzzled some of the congregation by posing them at the church and refusing to tell them what it was all about—surprise, folks, you’re in the Post! Comments on the cover scene: (l) artistic license helped keep that grass green during the drought; (2) if any of the parishioners were out on a golf course during the deluge, how remorseful they must have been that they weren’t in church.
[From the editors of the July 8, 1961 issue] How do you like that? On Saturday afternoon—prime time at any golf club—comes the deluge. Well, that’s par for the course, we suppose, and the course in this Ben Prins cover belongs to The Dunes Club of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. That wave in the background is a fringe of the Atlantic Ocean, not the crest of an oncoming flood. The three-wheeled vehicle under the umbrella is what is known as a caddy car, and its occupants are either fair-weather athletes scurrying toward the indoor recreation of the nineteenth hole, or spirited souls bent on challenging their fellow duffers to a game of motorized water polo. At any rate they’re not slowing down at the putting green. The weather being what it is, they’re probably less concerned about sinking putts than about sinking, period.
Nothing says “I love you” like dressing up in a dragon costume.
Make his heart skip a beat with a beautiful song.
As Valentine’s Day nears, the Postman and his partner do their best to deliver your love letters on time.
Love letters don’t write themselves. St. Valentine pens the perfect poem for your paramour.
This love struck couple doesn’t need cupid to pierce their hearts.
Lining up for love is one of many life lessons these lads will encounter.
Stretching your last dollar is a simple sacrifice for a romantic night on the town.
Popping the question requires the utmost preparation.
This young man hopes to paint his way right into her heart.
A love triangle calls for pretty flowers, but perhaps he should have brought a second bouquet!
A serenade so stunning, she was over the moon.
A sweet treat to top off a playful tennis match.
The boy of her dreams is even more breathtaking under the glowing moon.
With so many suitors, it’s easy to see why this beauty is beyond vacillating among valentines.
A pretty pink dress, fresh flowers, and a gentleman with a top hat — the makings of a rousing rendezvous.
A bounty of beauties has left this lad with a lot to think about.
Nothing says a scenic getaway for two like a sea-bound voyage.
For this well-dressed fella, finding true love starts with a colossal card.
Making faces works wonders when you’re five, but soon our larkish lad will need to find new ways of wooing.
Gawking over a gorgeous guy is always sure-fire entertainment for any sleepover.
This boy is doing more longing than long-divisioning.
This well-dressed duo dashes off to a diner for a cup of joe and juicy burgers.
Distance makes the heart grow fonder, especially when you’re separated by nothing but sea.
Forget the extravagant getaways — an afternoon stroll in the park works perfectly for this lovely pair.
After doors are locked, this lad and his lady linger, perhaps a bit too long.
Picking a V-Day card takes time, especially when she’s your first love.
This gentleman wasn’t shy about chasing down his dream girl.
This crew member is about to make this crowded corner is a less-than-ideal location for these love birds.
The Saturday Evening Post has featured many U.S. presidents on its cover in its nearly 200-year history. Here is a gallery of the men who have helped shape our nation.
Fifteen years after his death and 23 years after leaving office, Grant appeared on the cover of the Post, in one of a series of articles by Colonel A. K. McClure on “How We Make Presidents.” Grant oversaw the elimination of Confederate nationalism and slavery, protected African-American citizenship, and supported industrial expansion.
The election of 1876 was one of the most contentious in U. S. history. It was one of only five elections in which the person who won the most popular votes did not win the election. At one point, Tilden had 19 more electoral votes than Hayes. But a deal was brokered in which 20 disputed electoral votes were awarded to Hayes in exchange for withdrawal of federal troops from the South, putting Hayes in the White House by one vote.
As he was handing over the reins of the presidency to his successor, John Adams, Washington wrote, “I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy.”
Grover Cleveland was only U. S. President to serve two non-consecutive terms in office. He appeared on seven Saturday Evening Post covers and wrote several articles for the magazine on hunting, fishing, and the plight of democracy (not necessarily in that order of importance). He is remembered for being the only president to marry while in the White House, and for his deathless statement, “What is the use of being elected or re-elected unless you stand for something?”
An article in this issue of the Post proclaimed Taft to be “the heaviest President, the most traveled President, the best-natured President and the first golf player to occupy the White House.” He was among the most amiable and least ambitious men to be elected to the office. He continued most of the policies of his predecessor and friend, Teddy Roosevelt, but the two became estranged and ran against each other in 1912.
All his life, Taft tried in vain to reduce his weight. He reached 355 pounds while he served unhappily as president. He was also the only president to also serve as a justice on the Supreme Court, where he was far happier.
The Post was fascinated and charmed by Theodore Roosevelt, an energetic, progressive, young president who interrupted the long line of serious old men in the White House. Post editorials applauded his campaigns against “malefactors of great wealth” and his enthusiasm for making the U.S. a global power. Coming to the presidency in 1901 after President McKinley was shot, he was elected to a full term in 1904. He stepped aside in 1908 to let his friend, William H. Taft, successfully run for office. But in 1912, when this boy carved his pumpkin with TR’s toothy grimace and pince nez glasses, he was trying unsuccessfully for another term.
In 1862, with the country at the end of a Civil War, Lincoln called on Americans to face the challenges ahead without looking backward. He also reminded members of Congress that they would all be remembered for what they did in those perilous times:
“The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise — with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.
“Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this administration, will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance, or insignificance, can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass, will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation.”
This photograph of former President Truman was taken in front of his Independence, Missouri home. In an article that Truman wrote for the Post, the 80-year-old looked back over his controversial career and explained the principles that guided him in making the most difficult decisions of his Administration — including the “firing” of Douglas MacArthur.
The Post hadn’t featured a sitting president on its cover since Taft’s appearance in 1909. A popular president, Eisenhower authorized the establishment of NASA, invoked executive privilege to help end McCarthyism, expanded social security, launched the interstate highway system, and established the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency which led to the development of computer networking and graphical user interfaces.
Among his many better known accomplishments, Kennedy also won a Pulitzer Prize (for “Profiles in Courage”), was awarded a Purple Heart, and donated his salary to charity. He represented the new generation of politicians: he was young, good-looking, smart, and funny, and drew international admiration. Kennedy spoke of idealism at a time when the country wanted to move on to new horizons, but his aggressive stance against communism brought the country close to one war and involved it in another, in Vietnam.
This Rockwell portrait appeared a second time when the Post ran its memorial issue after Kennedy’s assassination.
President Johnson was a politician’s politician, and he was a paradox. He was cynical and calculating enough to be a powerful force in Washington, but also a champion of the poor and the man who launched a “War on Poverty. Johnson signed several civil rights bills that banned racial discrimination in public facilities, interstate commerce, the workplace, and housing. He signed the Voting Rights Act and the Immigration and Nationality Act into law. When he came to the White House after Kennedy’s assassination, he enjoyed a long honeymoon period with the press. But he lost the support of the media, and many Americans, with his determination to continue sending American soldiers to Vietnam.
President Nixon is best remembered for the Watergate scandal and his subsequent resignation, but he also opened diplomatic relations with China, initiated détente with the Soviet Union, and established the Environmental Protection Agency. He ended U.S. involvement in Vietnam, and supported the Equal Rights Amendment, affirmative action, and the food stamp program. It was ironic that a man who rose in politics through his anti-communist stance made such significant progress with the communist governments of Russia and China.
Rockwell painted this portrait of candidate Nixon nine years before Nixon won the presidency.
In this feature in the Post, “astrologer to the stars” Carroll Righter analyzed President Ford’s astrological profile, terming him a Moonchild. Ford has the distinction of being the only person to have served as both Vice President and President of the United States without being elected to either office. It has not been determined if the alignment of the stars or planets was a factor.
Entering the White House abruptly when President Nixon resigned, he drew broad support by pardoning the men who’d avoided serving in Vietnam by illegally dodging the draft. But much of his popularity melted away when he also pardoned Nixon, sparing the nation a long, rancorous, divisive spectacle of a trial.
Once a Democrat, Reagan switched to the Republican party as his views became more conservative. As president, he supported Afghan rebels opposing Russia’s invasion of their land and pushed for a space-based missile system to protect America from a nuclear attack. In the end, though, he was the president whose policies and tactful diplomacy with Russian leaders would end the Cold War.
George H. W. Bush appeared on the Post cover when he was still vice president, but was poised to win the presidential election, held a month later. He is the oldest living former president and vice president.
Bush continued many of Reagan’s policies, but he bridled when journalists compared him unfavorably to the charismatic Reagan. He was portrayed by some as being weak, sheltered, and a wimp. Yet it was Bush, not Reagan, who served in World War II and survived being shot down as a Navy pilot. His single term was noted for his authorization of the military overthrow of a corrupt dictator in Panama and the smashing of Iraq’s force in Kuwait though Operation Desert Storm.
The Saturday Evening Post loves a beautiful snowy day! (As long as we don’t have to drive anywhere. And it doesn’t turn to ice. And it’s not too cold. And it won’t last three more months. You get the idea.) Depending on your attitude toward frozen water, you’ll either love or loathe our cover gallery of winter fun, all from Post issues published before 1920.
Tributes to the military have long been portrayed on covers of The Saturday Evening Post, from situations serious to humorous. In honor of Veterans Day, we would like to share some of our favorites.
The first Post military cover? An action depiction of U.S. soldiers on horseback in the Philippines.
He’s in the Army now. A seldom seen cover from December 1942 by John Atherton shows a faithful dog and a photo. From the uniform, we can guess where its master is. We hope he returns home soon – Spot is itching to go hunting.
The enlisted also included members of the Women’s Army Corps (WAC), as shown in the cover from 1942 by an artist named Gilbert Bundy.
A WWI soldier shares a humble Christmas meal in this endearing 1917 cover by the prolific J.C. Leyendecker.
On the May 14, 1927, cover by E.M. Jackson, this sailor accomplishes an important mission overseas — finding a genuine American hot dog!
Celebrating soldiers, sailors, and marines, the 1937 cover by John Sheridan captures all three with a parade below in their honor.
Norman Rockwell honored the military during the WWII years with several covers of the “every soldier” he named Willie Gillis. We’ve shown Willie’s military adventures before, but not this one from 1941. Rockwell’s famous private is home on leave, snuggled under the quilts and enjoying the luxury of sleeping late. The sign above the bed echoes our ardent wish for all our military men and women: Home Sweet Home.
After Forest Gump, actor Gary Sinise became an advocate for wounded soldiers. Check out Jeanne Wolf’s interview with Sinise from the September/October 2014 issue here.
When it came to The Saturday Evening Post, George Horace Lorimer had it covered. The legendary editor-in-chief gave the Post its first cover in 1899, and hand-picked every one thereafter for the next 30 years. Some ideas came from editors, and occasionally even readers wrote in with suggestions that made it to the cover. Mostly, though, it was the artists of the day who presented their ideas to Lorimer, in sketches and fully rendered paintings. It was a moment of mingled excitement and terror as Lorimer, “the Boss,” lined up cover prospects along a wall, then rapidly accepted or rejected illustrations with the flick of a finger. His word was final, but his judgment was unerring, as you’ll see in this gallery of Post covers.
N. C. Wyeth
The father of painter Andrew Wyeth and grandfather of present-day artist Jamie Wyeth, Newell Convers Wyeth was a student of Howard Pyle and the Brandywine School of art. Wyeth’s first professional work was a commissioned illustration for the Post. His sense of color and mood was particularly suited to Western subjects, which also appealed to Lorimer. So the Post sent Wyeth to gain firsthand knowledge of his subject. On trips to the western United States, he worked as a ranch hand in Colorado and rode mail routes in New Mexico and Arizona.
Charles Livingston Bull
Known chiefly as an animal illustrator, Bull literally drew from his experience as a taxidermist at the National Museum in Washington, D.C. Bull’s images, whether an eagle soaring in flight or a fox on the prowl, gave a majestic, even startling, life and grace to his wild subjects.
MacDonall, who came from the Midwest but eventually migrated east to become part of the Westport, Connecticut art colony, did only a few covers for the Post, but they were memorable, especially his poignant depictions of children. The forlorn boy and his dog were real, seen by a reader in Oregon, who described the scene vividly in a letter to the editor.
Like N.C. Wyeth, Ellen Bernard Thompson Pyle was a student of Howard Pyle’s Brandywine School, later marrying Howard’s brother Walter. When they started a family, Pyle set painting aside, but after Walter’s death in 1919, as a widow with four children, Pyle resumed her career to make ends meet. She struggled at first, but then her sister-in-law took three of Pyle’s paintings to the Post—and Lorimer promptly bought two of them, in addition to the girl with the ice cream cone, which became a cover in 1922 (after Lorimer insisted that the dog, originally shown drooling, be retouched). Pyle painted 40 Post covers in all, often using her children as models. The girls sipping sodas here are Pyle’s daughters.
J. C. Leyendecker
Joseph Christian Leyendecker received his first commission to paint a Post cover the same year George Horace Lorimer began running them, in 1899. Before Norman Rockwell arrived, no other artist had been so closely identified with the Post. Leyendecker famously created the iconic New Year’s Baby and the pudgy red-garbed rendition of Santa Claus, among other enduring images. Rockwell himself idolized the artist, calling him “a superb draftsman and a fine colorist,” as evidenced here. Leyendecker had an eye for the humor in everyday life, too (as in the case of the ample bathing beauty and her water wings, witnessed by a Post editor, who later described her to Leyendecker), which always delighted readers.
For more cover art, visit saturdayeveningpostcovers.com.