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Artists Artists






1907 - 1994
Stevan Dohanos: American Imagist

Born in the steel mill town of Lorain, Ohio, Stevan Dohanos was a founder of the Famous Artists School in Westport, Connecticut and was considered an 'American Realist.' A proponent of simplicity, he has said, "A clean, strong, uncluttered image forms the basis of a good picture." One cannot discuss the illustration art of Stevan Dohanos without mentioning Norman Rockwell, as their Saturday Evening Post cover images are invariably compared. Whereas Rockwell was noted for idealizing Americans and their way of life, Dohanos, "always gloried in finding beauty in the ordinary things of life.” Dohanos was influenced by The Eight (Henri, Sloan, Glackens, Shinn, Prendergast, Davies, Lawson, and Luks) and their realistic depictions saying, “the truth and quality of the art could not be long denied.” He was more true to fact than Rockwell, who tended to over indicate and exaggerate with ironic humor. The difference between the two illustrators is more obvious in their choice of subjects rather than in their techniques. Dohanos focused more on the locale of the people he portrayed rather than the people themselves, perhaps more objective than Rockwell. Rockwell described the privilege of painting for the Post as “the greatest show window in America for an illustrator. If you did a Post cover, you had arrived.” As different as they were, Dohanos painted over 125 Saturday Evening Post covers during the 1940’s and 50’s, illustrating scenes of American life, including baseball games, mobile homes, gas stations, children with toys or butterfly collections, barns, and of course Harley-Davidsons. Dohanos also illustrated for Esquire and other magazines and designed 46 stamps for the U.S. Postal Service.

Stevan Dohanos studied art in night school, like many other talents who could neither afford the time nor tuition at a full-time or better known institution, and later at the Cleveland School of Arts (a dance and music school more than an art school). However, it was through hands-on experience as a sign and lettering painter he was able to learn more about color, scale, composition and other basics than he did at art school.

Later in his career, he did advertising commissions using still life subjects rather than lifestyle images showing peopleDohanos painting hanging employed in various poses. In an advertisement for Dunham's shoes, he used the techniques he acquired as a billboard artist in its preparation.

Dohanos was considered the Cultural Spokesman for the Saturday Evening Post because of his clear visual images and the poignant messages of Americana they revealed. He cherished his relationship with the Post and relished the differences between his work and that of Rockwell and other Post favorites. Often times he would use images from Westport, Connecticut, and readers could catch a glimpse of their neighbors in the backgrounds of scenes depicting everyday activities. Dohanos, along with Rockwell, came to represent the quintessence of American magazine illustrators. His images were generally slightly humorous and optimistic; they manifested the best of American ideals and were always familiar to the reader. Stevan Dohanos was considered “The Delineator of the Heart of America

Stevan Dohanos’ paintings are in the collections of the Avery Memorial of Hartford, The Cleveland Museum, New Britain Museum of American Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.



Mission

  • Edwin Austin Abbey
  • Constantin Alajalov
  • Rolf Armstrong
  • Stanley Arthurs
  • Clifford Ashley
  • John Atherton
  • William Aylward
  • Joyce Ballantyne
  • McClelland Barclay
  • Cecil Calvert Beall
  • Arthur Becher
  • Mary Jane Begin
  • WT Benda
  • Gerrit Beneker
  • Anna Whelan Betts
  • Ethel Franklin Betts
  • Walter Biggs
  • Edwin Blashfield
  • Enoch Bolles
  • Franklin Booth
  • S Cole Bradley
  • Paul Bransom
  • F Sands Brunner
  • Duane Bryers
  • Al Buell
  • Edward Ulreich Buk
  • Charles Livingston Bull
  • Clara M Burd
  • Hal Burrows
  • Harrison Cady
  • Howard Chandler Christy
  • Frederick Stuart Church
  • Benton Clark
  • Matt Clark
  • John Clymer
  • Dean Cornwell
  • Douglas Crockwell
  • George Hughes
  • Peter Hurd
  • EO Hurst
  • Henry Hutt
  • Elbert McGran Jackson
  • Robert C Kauffman
  • JF Kernan
  • Rockwell Kent
  • WHD Koerner
  • John LaFarge
  • John LaGatta
  • FX Leyendecker
  • JC Leyendecker
  • Henry Linnell
  • George Luks
  • Reginald Marsh
  • Richard Field Maynard
  • Frederic Kimball Mizen
  • Thomas Moran
  • Rudy Nappi
  • Thomas Nast
  • Thornton Oakley
  • Violet Oakley
  • Cushman Parker
  • Maxfield Parrish
  • Edward Penfield
  • George Petty
  • Coles Phillips
  • Henry Pitz
  • Edward Potthast
  • Maurice Prendergast
  • Norman Price
  • Howard Pyle
  • Ethel Ream
  • Sidney Reisenberg
  • Frederick Remington
  • Louis Rhead
  • Norman Rockwell
  • Alex Ross
  • Charles M Russell
  • Russell Sambrook
  • Mead Schaeffer
  • Jes Schlaikjer
  • Frank E Schoonover
  • Remington Schuyler
  • Barbara Shermund
  • Everret Shinn
  • John Sloan
  • Jessie Willcox Smith
  • Walter Granville Smith
  • Henry J Soulen
  • Paul Stahr
  • Alice Barber Stephens
  • Herbert Morton Stoops
  • Haddon Sundblom
  • Saul Tepper
  • Leslie Thrasher
  • George T Tobin
  • Alton Tobey
  • Rico Tomaso
  • Charles Twelvetrees
  • Alberto Vargas
  • Elihu Vedder
  • Harold von Schmidt
  • Colonel Charles Waterhouse
  • Thomas Webb
  • Sarah Stilwell Weber
  • Albert Beck Wenzell
  • Andrew Wyeth
  • Jamie Wyeth
  • NC Wyeth