The National Museum of American Illustration
NMAI FOUNDERS AUTHOR MAJOR NEW BOOK,
J.C. LEYENDECKER-AN AMERICAN IMAGIST
The National Museum of American Illustration (NMAI)
is proud to announce that Laurence S.
Cutler and Judy Goffman Cutler, Founders of the
co-authoring the most comprehensive publication to
date on the revered American illustration artist,
J.C.Leyendecker (1874-1951). Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
is publishing the anthology which comes after years
of primary research by Laurence and Judy Cutler.
The working title for the publication is, J.C.
American Imagist. It will offer a
panoptic view into the life and work of the ‘Golden
Age’ artist, and will showcase Leyendecker’s
tremendous body of work in a hardbound volume,
comprising more then 300 pages with more then 600
Above: J.C. Leyendecker at age sixty-six
Leyendecker is perhaps best known for his 322
Saturday Evening Post covers.
He was one of the most
influential and prolific illustrators of the ‘Golden
American Illustration' (1865:1945). No other
the arrival of Norman Rockwell two decades later,
so solidly identified with one publication, the most
popular magazine ever.
Joseph C. and his younger brother Frank
Xavier Leyendecker, were born in Montabour,
moved to America in 1882. Joe and Frank studied
together in Paris at the Académie Julian, where they
developed their artistic visions. Leyendecker’s
renown grew from his ability to establish a specific
and readily identifiable signature style. With his very
wide, deliberate brush strokes done with authority
control, he seldom overpainted, preferring to interest
the viewer with the omissions as well as the parts
included. His most memorable creations which live
on to this day, are the Arrow Collar Man,
the New Year’s Baby, and his idealized sports and
Image above: J.C. Leyendecker
(1874-1951), "Bellhop with Hyacinths," oil on
canvas, 28" x 20," signed lower right,
Saturday Evening Post cover, May 30, 1914
Leyendecker painted Bellhop With Hyacinths
(seen above) for the Saturday
Evening Post in
1914 after Congress recognized Mother's Day as an
official holiday. Leyendecker initiated the tradition of
giving flowers to your mother on Mother's Day with
this iconic image.
As the Saturday Evening Post’s most
important cover artist of the day, Leyendecker
illustrated the holiday issues, as well as many in
between. His Easter, Independence Day,
Thanksgiving and Christmas were annual events for
the Post’s millions of readers. Leyendecker
gave us what is perhaps the most enduring New
Year’s symbol; the New Year’s Baby. For almost forty
years, the Post featured a Leyendecker Baby
on its New Year’s covers. The New Year’s Baby
chronicled what was foremost on the collective
American mind that year.
The New Year's Post cover (seen left)
reflects the United States Revenue Act of 1926,
which reduced personal income taxes and ended
public access to federal income tax returns. The Act
was passed by the 69th Congress and signed into
law by President Calvin Coolidge. Leyendecker's
iconic New Year's Baby is cutting income tax records
in half with an ax.
Image above: J.C. Leyendecker (1874-1951),"New
Year's Baby 1926," 1926, oil on canvas,
28" x 20 1/4," Saturday Evening Post , January 2,
The new anthology of Leyendecker’s life and work
will be the first publication on the artist since
Watson-Guptill Publications published J.C.
(1974) a seminal work by author Michael Schau.
The Cutler’s explore the artist’s sometimes,
tumultuous life in great detail, lifting the veil of
obscurity that has shrouded this illustration genius for
decades. Moreover, they include more then 600
images of the artist’s wide range of work including;
advertisements for Arrow Collar, House of
Kuppenheimer, Ivory Soap, and Kelloggs, as well as
magazine covers for the Saturday Evening Post,
Collier’s and Success, to name a few.
ANNOUNCEMENT: J.C. LEYENDECKER CATALOGUE
The American Illustrators Gallery (AIG), NYC is
preparing the Catalogue Raisonné on Leyendecker's
oeuvre and is seeking entries and information
on the artist and his works.
Submittals should be forwarded for consideration
to Ms. Lee Ann Scotto at
email@example.com or to the attention
of Phil Peters at the American Illustrators Gallery, 18
East 77th St, New York, NY 10021.
The NMAI has in its permanent collection, the largest
private collection of original illustrations by J.C.
Leyendecker, and a portion of them are exhibited
Lee Ann Scotto, Assistant to the Director, The
of American Illustration-492 Bellevue Avenue,
02840. T:401-851-8949 ext.31- F: 401-851-8974-
The National Museum of American Illustration is a
independent, educational, and aesthetic
organization. It is
located in Newport, RI on Bellevue Avenue at Vernon
(1898), a Beaux-Arts adaptation of an 18th century
chateau built by architects, Carreré & Hastings. It is
the first national museum devoted
to American illustration art. Illustration consists of
artwork created to be reproduced in books,
newspapers and advertisements. ‘Golden Age’
such luminaries as Norman Rockwell, Maxfield
Wyeth, and 75 others are displayed in ‘Gilded Age’
architecture, creating a unique union of art and
a national treasure. The Museum is administered by
American Civilization Foundation, a nonprofit
with the goal to present the best possible venue for
appreciating the greatest collection of illustration art;
most American of American art.
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