I found decades of covers showing little girls doing what girls do. Narrowing it down to a few was difficult. Hint: They aren’t all sugar and spice and everything nice.
Young Suffragette by Violet Moore Higgins
It is 1913 and about darn time for equal rights for women! This “young suffragette” is putting aside her dolls and taking her brother’s turn at bat. Alas, many of our terrific covers were by artists long forgotten. Violet Moore Higgins was an illustrator for children’s books and magazines, and for one memorable Saturday Evening Post cover.
Girl Playing Piano by Frank X. Leyendeck
Well, some girls are sugar and spice and everything nice. This adorable 1911 cover was done by Frank X. Leyendecker, who painted sixteen Post covers. His more famous brother, J.C. did more Post covers than anyone – well over three hundred, including the next one.
April Showers by J.C. Leyendecker
J.C. Leyendecker was famous for more than doing more Post covers than anyone else (including his protégé, Norman Rockwell). Leyendecker ads for Arrow Shirts and Kuppenheimer men’s clothing epitomized elegance in the early part of the 20th century.
Here he turns his considerable talents to depicting a sweet little waif, made all the more tiny and fragile with the use of an oversized umbrella.
No Peeking by Norman Rockwell
Speaking of Rockwell, it has been said, by himself among others, that he didn’t paint little girls well. I beg to differ, and this prim and proper young lady is a fine example. Passing the “No Swimming” sign bedecked with the clothes of skinny-dipping boys, she is determined to see no evil – and certainly no unclothed boys! After such a trying journey, let’s hope she remembers what she was supposed to get at the market. Rockwell dogs are always so expressive – this one looks guilty, like he knows they are where they aren’t supposed to be.
Shiner by Norman Rockwell
Nothing prim and proper about this Rockwell beauty! The young lady, oh, let’s call her Joan, seems right proud of herself for the way she handled a conflict. There seems to be a discussion in the Principal’s office as to how to handle the troublemaker. This is a Rockwell classic from 1953. Rockwell quickly learned that painting a shiner was more complicated than first imagined: the coloring, the puffiness. He set out to find a kid with a black eye, but even the local hospitals were fresh out. A Massachusetts photographer heard of the problem and ran an ad for youngsters with shiners. The search quickly went viral, as we would say today, and the famous artist heard from all over the country. A boy in Worcester, Massachusetts had somehow acquired two black eyes ( we don’t want to know how),and his Dad drove him right to Rockwell’s studio in Vermont. The artist transferred one he declared “a beauty” to a favorite girl model, and the rest is American illustration history.
Jump Rope by Sarah Stilwell-Weber
Oh, my, there are so many beautiful covers by Sarah Stilwell-Weber, where do I begin? How about this darling 1915 cover of two cuties jumping rope? Stilwell-Weber did over sixty Post covers, mostly of irresistible little girls.
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