Magazine cover design has become a complex creative art in the United States since the late 19th century due to its great wealth, allowing publishers to spend large sums of money to create works of art using sophisticated printing techniques. Informed by the Golden Age of American Illustration between 1880 and 1960, it stemmed from advances in printing technology, an abundant supply of inexpensive pulp-based paper, and mass mailing that acted as impetus to a meteoric rise of new magazines. In this era, publishers and advertisers capaciously demanded from artists to create artworks that would visually communicate with their audiences in exquisite styles that would appeal to aesthetic tastes of the modern-age public, and they were able to pay high fees for the work of first-rate artists.
The art of visual communication is more difficult to create than conventional art objects that draw inspiration from abstract thoughts or the aesthetic exploration of images. A magazine cover is the response to a precise order, limited by deadlines and confined by the restrictions of an editorial directive to the artists, such as R.K, Ryland, Dean Cornwell, Harvey Dunn, James Montgomery Flagg,Charles Dana Gibson, Maxfield Parrish, Howard Pyle, John Cecil Clay, Porter Woodruff, Frank Xavier Leyendecker, James Preston, Leslie thrasher, Ruth Ford Harper, Helen Dryden, George W Plank, Cushman Parker, Norman Rockwell, C. Coles Phillips, Mead Schaeffer, Georges Lepape, A.H. Fish, Jessie Willcox Smith, Stanley W. Reynolds, John Rawlings, and N.C. Wyeth, as well as many other lesser-known but talented artists created works of extraordinary caliber.
“Queen of Spring” by J.C. Leyendecker from May 23, 1931
Embodying the mellow majesty and vivacious energy of the Jazz Age, Leyendecker, who studied in Paris at the Académie Julian, created magnificent cover-arts in the 1920's. He represented idealized beauties placed in chimerical settings, using undulating contour lines of great simplicity and subtlety with sharp contrasts of darks and lights. Howard Pyle, regarded as the father of American visual communication, invented the quintessential pirate character that still inspires movies over a century later. His student N.C. Wyeth gained national fame for his paintings done for the Scribner's Illustrated Classics series of novels. The iconic imagery he created for books such as Treasure Island and Kidnapped helped establish the era's vogue for adventure stories. Easel-painter artists, such as John Sloan and William Glackens, also created cover-art in this era. James Montgomery Flagg’s noted self-portrait representing ‘Uncle Sam’ exclaiming ‘I Want You!’ became a national icon. Charles Dana Gibson's portraiture of smart, athletic, and elegant all-American woman epitomized by his ‘Gibson's Girl’
Cover-artwork was recognized to be a democratic art form. The profusion and prominence of imaginative design of magazine covers incorporated a vast body of artwork which furnished the humanity's visual culture with an enlightening source of socio-historical intelligence and delight. The cover-artwork was a source of inspiration for the Abstract Expressionists. When one reflects on these cover-artworks, particularly those of the 1900-80 era, it becomes immediately obvious that these covers contain important messages about their times. They are inspired by a specific aura of socio-cultural tensions, informed by shared convictions, experiences, events, and outlooks, and spoken to aspirations and anxieties of the modern age. A juxtaposition of certain pictures which graced these covers with an exploration into the social history that served as the background to those pictures, can tell us a great deal about how Visual Communications dealt with and represented such issues as race, class, religion, and political conflicts. A look at this history can help us to place these covers back into their cultural context and, combined with a knowledge of the style, audience, and biases of the magazine itself, can in turn tell us a great deal about how the American people in the first eight decades of the 20th century, before entering into the digital age of internet, understood the global issues, and how this understanding shaped the world at large, because of the immense economic and military power of the United States.
Review, was the first magazine type publication, published in London in 1704, by Daniel Defore, the author of Robinson Crusoe. Taking full advantage of the liberal policies of print in Queen Anne‘s reign, Defore wrote about the issues as he liked and published them. However, it was Edward Cave's Gentleman's Magazine, published in January 1731, and printed at St. John's Gate in London, which was the first 'magazine' in the modern sense. As a 'repository of all things worth mentioning' it was the most important periodical in 18th century England, reflecting in its pages the diversity of Georgian life, politics and culture. It ceased publication in 1907.
|Christian History magazine , the very first successful magazine in America|
In 1741, the idea of magazines was introduced by Benjamin Franklin and Andrew Bradford into America. Published in 1743, The Christian History magazine was the very first successful magazine in America, which unlike its short-lived predecessors lasted a few short years. Non of these magazines had a familiar cover page.
The Royal American Magazine was established by Isaiah Thomas with the issue of January, 1774, and continued by him through the issue of June, 1774. It was immediately followed by Joseph Greenleaf, who published the magazine from July, 1774 to its final issue in March, 1775. The fifteen numbers contained twenty-two full-page engraved plates, thirteen signed by Revere, and three by Callender. In common with the practice of the times, the text was largely taken from London magazines, and the plates were nearly all based on English originals.
In 1833, Samuel Goodrich created Peter Parley's Magazine to help him teach children about the world; which kept up a mixture of fact and entertainment. The covers of the early magazines were very much like those of the books. Most were highly decorative, and some incorporated a table of content.
In 1819,Eliakim Littell moved to Philadelphia and established the National Recorder, a weekly literary paper. The paper went through a series of name changes from the National Recorder, to the Saturday Magazine, and then to the Museum of Foreign Literature and Science. He then moved to Boston, Massachusetts and in April 1844 began publishing Littell's Living Age, a weekly literary periodical, which was a selection of various articles from different publications. The cover page of Littell's Living Age, was innovative and groundbreaking for its time.
The "dime novels", which were aimed at a less literate and poorer mass audience, created prototype for magazines. Because they were made of the newly available, cheap wood pulp paper (the original "pulp fiction"), using flimsy paper covers, they could offer titles as cheap as a dime. The first American "dime novel" was created in June of 1860 when Irwin Beadle and his brother Erastus published a story called "Malaeska". The first edition of "Malaeska" was published without a cover illustration. In an early reprint of the story, however, a dark-skinned Malaeska appears on the cover in a feathered headdress holding her dying husband as he reaches out for their young (very light-skinned) son. Early dime novels, first printed in orange wrapper papers, were patriotic, often nationalistic tales of encounters between Indians and backwoods settlers. Beadles' company (later to become Beadle and Adams) soon faced competition from the likes of publishers such as Street and Smith and Frank Tousey.
The New York Weekly, Log Cabin Library published in 1840-41, featuring the best of Street and Smith's Far West adventure stories, introduced a more dynamic sense of visual communications. By the mid-1890s, bold color covers depicting scenes of bloodshed and courage appealed to a mostly adolescent audience. Such illustrations rendered the sensationalism of the text in bold pictorial form and quickly became an indispensable means of attracting readers and increasing dime novel sales.
The more conservative magazines such as Godey's Lady's Book, of Philadelphia of 1830 and Peterson's women's magazine of 1872, stoked to traditional decorative covers with some emphases on typography. Nevertheless, they also gradually began to incorporate some illustrations of women.
George Munro was a successful publisher of cheap fiction whose firm operated from 1865 to 1893. Munro was born in Nova Scotia, Canada, on November 12, 1825. Though trained as a minister, he never served as one. Instead, in 1856 he moved to New York City where he was employed by the American News Company and next by Beadle and Adams. In 1863, he left Beadle and Adams with Irwin Beadle to create Irwin Beadle and Company. Irwin, who had a history of irregular employment, left the firm in 1864 and the firm was renamed George Munro and Company. In 1868 the firm was renamed again, this time to simply George Munro and it would so remain until Munro retired in 1893.
The first volume of George Munro's New York Fashion Bazaar appeared November 8, 1879 and featured the story, The Romance of Darkecliffe Hall; or, The Story of My Life on the front cover. The front cover was always illustrated, though the content of the illustration varied. It was most often a scene from the main story, but fashion plates and pictures of personalities, such as Sarah Bernhardt and Marie Christine, the Queen of Spain were also featured. On several occasions color illustration of fashions and fancywork were included inside.
Cosmopolitan Magazine published 1886 and was billed as a woman’s fashion magazine that was also interested in “Some Examples of Recent Art” and “The Progress of Science.” It gradually became a showcase for new fiction, publishing works by authors like Upton Sinclair, Sinclair Lewis, Kurt Vonnegut, Willa Cather, and H. G. Wells. Cosmopolitan was known for it's beautiful covers portraying Hollywood's most popular and attractive movie stars. It was imperative that these depictions not only be recognizable, but more beautiful and glamorous than the camera or "real life" could present. However, in recent years its content deteriorated, and in the words of the late Kurt Vonnegut:
“One monthly that bought several of my stories, Cosmopolitan, now survives as a harrowingly explicit sex manual.”The magazine's covers, once artistic and creative, have now adopted the banal commercial culture of presenting a youthful celebrity in a hackneyed, vulgar, and feckless style which appears as the accepted norm for nearly all the magazines.
|February 1912, by Harrison Fisher|
|March 1913,;by Harrison Fisher|
|April 1913, by Harrison Fisher|
|November 1925, by Harrison Fisher|
|January 1930, by Harrison Fisher|
|April 1932, by Harrison Fisher|
|August 1935, by Bradshaw Crandel|
Francis Attwood, Dean Cornwell, James Montgomery Flagg, and Harrison Fisher.
|October 1939, by Bradshaw Crandell|
|Lana Turner on the cover of the March 1942 Cosmopolitan, illustration by Bradshaw Crandall.|
|November 1919, Helen Dryden|
For over a hundred years Vogue magazine has represented modern American women. Vogue started as a high society paper in 1892 by Arthur Baldwin Turnure. The original investors for Vogue included the Vanderbilts, A.M Dodge, William Jay, and Marion Stuyvesant Fish. Turnure hired the socialite Josephine Redding as the magazine’s first editor.
Vogue was not focused on advertising sales and revenues were decreasing for its wealthy stockholders. This soon changed when Conde Nast bought Vogue in 1909. Conde Nast graduated from Georgetown where he became close friends with Robert Collier. Robert Collier soon inherited Collier’s Weekly from his father and gave Nast a job as an advertising manager. Under Nast’s management, Collier’s Weekly became first place in advertising revenue for magazines. His salary grew to forty thousand dollars a year at Collier’s Weekly. Nast then left the magazine to build the Home Pattern Company. He wanted to expand his business into fashion news and set his sights on Vogue.
Conde Nast pushed for the covers of Vogue to be done by the best illustrators and photographers. Thus, the covers of Vogue became notable and reflected the art movements of each decade of the twentieth century. Conde Nast died in 1942. Time Magazine said that, “for a generation he was the man from whom millions of American women got most of their ideas, directly or indirectly, about the desirable standard of living.” The Conde Nast Corporation still lives on today.
|May 1918, Porter Woodruff|
|November 1920, Helen Dryden|
|January 1923, George W Plank|
|January 1925, Georges Lepape|
|July 1929, Eduardo Benito|
|July 1932, Edward Steichen,|
This is the first ever photographic cover shot by Edward Steichen, though he is not credited within.
|May 1939, René Bouché|
"Bouché sketched this gay corner of Suzy's salon for our cover," explains Vogue. "The two cartwheels in the foreground – perfect for Ascot – are at Fortnum and Mason."
|September 1945, John Rawlings|
|December 1975, David Bailey|
Thirteen years after Gladys Perrint's cover David Bailey tried once more to reintroduce an artistic element into the design of Vogue's cover. This was perhaps the last attempt,
On May 2, 1885, an established journalist and businessman, Clark W. Bryan published Good Housekeeping in Holyoke, Massachusetts. He promised readers that he aimed to "produce and perpetuate perfection - or as near unto perfection as may be attained in the Household". Bryan died in 1898 by suicide and after his death, James Eaton Tower assumed the role of editor over the 1899-1913 period. The magazine was bought by John Pettigrew, and in 1900 Phelps Publishing Company acquired it and moved its publication to Springfield, Massachusetts.
The early covers of Good Housekeeping were created by celebrated artists such as Robert Knight Ryland (1873-1951) and James Moore Preston (1873-1962). R. K. Ryland work was published on the March issue of 1902, he was a renowned New York based illustrator and fine artist, who worked extensively creating modernist murals and posters. James Preston created a number covers of for Good Housekeeping in 1904, he also produced a cover for the April 1905 issue of Saturday Evening Post. He became more active in illustration during the 1920s. Preston who studied with Thomas Anshutz at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, in Philadelphia married artist Mary Wilson Preston. Both Preston and his wife were associated with Robert Henri and the Ashcan School of painters.
|March 1902, R.K, Ryland|
|July 1904, by James Preston|
|August 1904, by James Preston|
|December 1904, by James Preston|
Cushman Parker (1841- 1940), born in Boston, created the covers of the magazine during the 1906-07 period. He had a long career in which he also produced covers and illustration for many other magazines such as the covers for September 1916, and May 18, 1935 issues of Saturday Evening Post. John Cecil Clay (1875-1930), born in Ronceverte, West Virginia designed the covers during 1908-09 period . He was a student of Henry Siddons Mowbray at the Art Students League of New York. His graphic style emphasized on dynamic patterning of lines and natural shapes and was more dynamic than Cushman's style. Clay ornamental portraying of a single woman as the focus of his powerful compositions, always alive, restless, and at the same time balanced, created a visual representation of a mythical grace, defined by asymmetrically undulating lines.
|June 1906, by Cushman Parker|
|December 1906, by Cushman Parker|
|February 1907, by Cushman Parker|
|April 1907, by Cushman Parker|
|August 1908, by John Cecil Clay.|
|August 1909, by John Cecil Clay|
In 1910-11, Ruth Ford Harper (1883-1922), created the covers of various issues of Good Housekeeping, Harper's weekly and Sunday Magazine of the New York Tribune under her pseudonym of R. Ford Harper. Ruth who after marrying Alexander Hammerslough in 1906 had became Ruth Heilprin Hammerslough, and lived in New York never became a widely recognized artist because she was working under a pseudonym in such a large city. Born in Washington, DC, Ruth Ford Harper traveled to Europe for three months twice, first when she was 19, and again three years later in 1905. She was a student of William Merritt Chase. In November 1918, she exhibited her art at the Dowell Club 108 W. 55th St, under her real name Ruth H. Hammerslough, and in August 1920 she traveled to Paris to study. In Paris she lived at 31 rue Campagne-Première in the heart of Montparnasse, neighboring artists like Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Picabia, Kiki de Montparnasse, Rilke, Tristan Tzara, Éric Satie and Vladimir Maïakovski.
|November 1910, by R. Ford Harper|
|April 1911, by R. Ford Harper|
In 1911, Hearst Publishing Company bought the magazine and moved it to New York where it is still published today by the same company. Over the 1914-17 period, C. Coles Phillips (1880- 1927) joined the Good Housekeeping. Phillips is one of the most prominent artists in the "Golden Age of American Illustration", whose masterly use of the "fade-away" technique, that became the hallmark his style. .
C. Coles Phillips was born in Springfield, Ohio, , and enrolled in Kenyon College, where some of his earliest illustrations appeared in the school's yearbook. He dropped out of school and moved to New York, and for a short while took night classes at the Chase School of Art while working as clerck. Soon he landed a job in an advertising studio that used an "assembly-line" approach to produce advertising posters, where one worker did the heads and passing the work down to the next, who painted the dress; and passing it to the next to paint the limbs. Phillips was the artist who was assigned to paint the feet, in which he got a chance to demonstrate his skills in painting gracefully shaped legs and ankles for hosiery advertising posters. Later he joined an advertising agency, for awhile before establishing his own "C. C. Phillips & Co. Agency" in 1906, employing two other artists. But he was an artist and managing a business was not his cup of tea.
He closed down his company and rented a studio, promising the landlord that he could soon sell his works and pay the rent by the end of the month. He submitted his work to "Life", a humor magazine, and it was accepted as a black-and-white centerfold on April 1907, based on poem by Omar Khayam's Rubiyat. He created several more of his black-and-white illustration for Life, and by the spring 1908, when Life decided to use color covers, he was asked to produce a bold and distinctive design. On February 20, 1908, Phillips' first cover appeared on the Life issue in which he introduced his "fade-away" technique,that was inspired by a violinist friend's suggested outlines of his figure, represented by just the highlights of his violin, the shine on his shoes, and the small impression of his white shirt. This first cover in color depicted a young girl in a polka-dot dress, feeding corn to a flock of chickens. It was so successful that Phillips was commissioned for fifty-four more covers until 1912. His use of negative space which allowed the viewer to "fill-in" the image; also reduced printing costs for the magazine, since instead of using the high-cost full-color printing Life was getting the same impact by just one or two colors. In 1912, Phillips signed a five-year contract with Good Housekeeping, agreeing to paint a cover image every month. He became a celebrated artist, and greatly in demand throughout the world.
|August 1912, C. Coles Phillips|
|March 1914, C. Coles Phillips|
|August 1915, C. Coles Phillips|
|August 1914, by C. Coles Phillips|
|February 1915, by C. Coles Phillips|
|January 1916, by C. Coles Phillips|
|May 1917, by C. Coles Phillips|
|February 1917, by C. Coles Phillips|
|April 1917, by C. Coles Phillips|
In 1918 Jessie Willcox Smith (1863-1935), a popular children’s illustrator, illustrated every cover of Good Housekeeping from 1918 to 1932. Whereas the magazine’s previous artists had represented women participating in various activities such as skiing, playing guitar, serving food, or making a bed, Smith’s covers all depicted children at play, often with their mothers. Throughout her career, she illustrated over 40 children's books, illustrations for two of George MacDonald's fantasy works At The Back of The North Wind (1919) and The Princess and the Goblin (1920). She illustrated Charles Kingsley's ;The Water-Babies ;(1916), and thirteen color drawings of the water-babies in charcoal, watercolor and oil. Her artistic style was conventional "Japanesque" compositions of planes and broad flat masses, with a heavy use the defining line, flattened tones and colors, in conventional lighting. Working in a variety of mediums including gouache, oil, charcoal, and watercolor.
Jessie Smith was born in Philadelphia on to Charles Henry Smith and Katherine Dewitt Smith, who had just moved to Philadelphia from New York. As the youngest daughter of a reasonably well-off investment banker, Smith attended private schools in Philadelphia prior to being sent to Cincinnati as a teenager to finish her studies. She started her career as a kindergarten teacher but after one year she gave it up due health issues. As a tall woman her back gave her trouble to deal with children. Unaware of her artistic talent, when was asked to participate in an art lesson given by her cousin she completed her assignment admirably. The lamp she drew for that assignment, according to her own account " was the turning point in my life, and has shed its light before me ever since. I feel profoundly grateful to it still" (Miller and Whitney 1930, 69). In 1885, Smith entered the School of Design for Women in Philadelphia, and after while applied to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, studiying with Thomas Anshute and Thomas Eakins. She graduated from the Academy in 1888; the same year which her first published work, Three Little Maidens All in a Row, appeared in the May issue of the children's magazine, St. Nicholas. After graduation she was offered a position in the advertising department of the Ladies Home Journal. In 1894 she enrolled in Saturday afternoon classes at the Drexel Institute, and was taught by Howard Pyle, and "with his inspiration and practical help," She was soon "in the full tide of book illustration" (Mitchell 1979, 4).
|March 1930, by Jessie Willcox Smith|
|June 1930, by Jessie Willcox Smith|
|July 1948, Flix Ross|
Samuel McClure established McClure's Magazine, an American literary and political magazine, in June 1893. Selling at the low price of 15 cents, this illustrated magazine published the work of leading popular writers such as Rudyard Kipling, Robert Louis Stevenson and Arthur Conan Doyle. He also promoted the work of educationalist, Maria Montessori.
|December 1907, by Campbell, Blendon|
On January 4, 1883, John Ames Mitchell, a 37-year old illustrator, founded the Life magazine in a New York City, with a logo that depicted cupids on its nameplate, with the motto “While there’s Life, there’s hope". The magazine faced stiff competition from the bestselling humor magazines rivals The Judge and Puck, which were already established and successful. Mitchell hired Edward Sandford Martin, a Harvard graduate and a founder of the Harvard Lampoon, as Life's first literary editor. The first issue's editorial read:
We wish to have some fun in this paper... We shall try to domesticate as much as possible of the casual cheerfulness that is drifting about in an unfriendly world... We shall have something to say about religion, about politics, fashion, society, literature, the stage, the stock exchange, and the police station, and we will speak out what is in our mind as fairly, as truthfully, and as decently as we know how.Two years later, in 1885, they hired Charles Dana Gibson (1867-1944) an eighteen years old talented artist and the magazine became asuccess.
Gibson was born into a wealthy New England family in Roxbury, Massachusetts. His artistic talent was revealed to his parents Charles DeWolf Gibson and Josephine Elizabeth Lovett, who at his early childhood enrolled him at the Art Students League in New York City. A talented artist, Gibson's early influences include Howard Pyle, Charles Keene and Phil May. Life's readers enjoyed the style in which he ridiculed at high society pomposity. His monthly salary taht was started at $33, increased 600 per cent just in three months to $185. Tid-Bits, which was later re-named Time magazine, also bought his illustrations. His works were also were commissioned by Scribner’s Magazine, Century, Harper's Weekly, and Collier's Weekly. The young women in his drawings became known as Gibson Girls, who he began to draw in 1890. His wife, Irene Langhorne Gibson, an ideal all-American femininity, was the model for ‘The Gibson Girl’ representing the modern, athletic, smart, stylish, and desirable woman.
Among other Life's well-known illustrators were Palmer Cox, A. B. Frost, Oliver Herford, and E. W. Kemble. The magazine discovered many new talened illustrators such Robert LeRoy Ripley who published his first cartoon in Life in 1908. Norman Rockwell’s first cover for Life, "Tain’t You," was published May 10, 1917. Rockwell’s paintings were featured on Life’s cover 28 times between 1917 and 1924. Rea Irvin, the first art director of The New Yorker and creator of Eustace Tilley, got his start drawing covers for Life. In 1914, when Germany attacked Belgium, Mitchell and Gibson started a fierce campaign to push America into the war. Mitchell who had spent seven years at Paris art schools was a Francophile. Gibson depicted the German Kaiser as a bloody madman, insulting Uncle Sam, sneering at crippled soldiers, and even shooting Red Cross nurses. Mitchell lived just long enough to see Life’s crusade result in the U. S. declaration of war in 1917.
Following Mitchell’s death in 1918, it was Irene Langhorne's wealth which enabled her husband, Gibson, to acquire the magazine for $1 million. But the world was a different place for Gibson’s publication. It was not the "Gay Nineties" where family-style humor prevailed and the chaste Gibson Girls wore floor-length dresses. World War I had spurred changing tastes among the magazine-reading public. Life’s brand of fun, clean, cultivated, humor began to pale before the new variety: crude, sexy, and cynical. Life struggled to compete on newsstands with such risqué rivals. Despite its all-star talents, Life had passed its prime, and was sliding toward financial ruin. The New Yorker, debuting in February 1925, copied many of the features and styles of Life; it even raided its editorial and art departments. Another blow to Life’s circulation came from raunchy humor periodicals such as Ballyhoo and Hooey, which ran what can be termed outhouse gags. Esquire joined Life’s competitors in 1933. A little more than three years after purchasing Life, Gibson quit and turned the decaying property over to publisher Clair Maxwell and treasurer Henry Richter. Gibson retired to Maine to paint and lost active interest in the magazine, which he left deeply in the red.
|June 1901, by Albert Levering(1906 -1973)|
|July 1903, by Charles D. Gibson|
|April 1905, by Henry Hutt|
|March 1907, Devil welcoming falling sinners, people from a dance, by Henry Hutt
Henry Hutt (1875-1950) sold his first picture to LIFE magazine at the age of 16. . He studied at the Chicago Art Institute.
|February 1908, by C. Coles Phillips|
|July 1909, "Sand Witch", by Cole Phillips|
|August 1909, , by Coles Phillips.|
Giantess Shrine -- Phillips used the size metaphor on several occasions in his illustrations for magazines.
|December 1909,by Coles Phillips - 'Between You, Me and the Lamp Post'|
|March 1910, by Coles Phillips|
|December 1912, by Cole Phillips|
|March 1913, A futurist depicts "The Light that lies in woman's eyes", by Power O'Malley.|
|October 1920, by Cole Phillips|
|May 1922, by Cole Phillips|
|February 1927, by John Held Jr.|
|March 1927, Russell Patterson|
In 1925, having arrived in New York City, Patterson suddenly found his direction. He put aside his fine arts ambitions and turned his talents toward illustration. Drawing on his experience sketching beautiful women in Paris, he began adorning covers and interiors for magazines like College Humor and Judge, and later Lifeand Ballyhoo with his vivacious flappers. Within a couple of years, Russell Patterson the illustrator went from obscurity to celebrity, at a time when the leading graphic artists were as famous as movie stars. As his career blossomed, his ubiquitous version of the modern Jazz Age woman graced the covers and interior pages of The Saturday Evening Post, Vogue, Vanity Fair,Cosmopolitan, Redbook and Photoplay, among many other magazines. As celebrated at that time as the "Gibson Girl" had been years before, his "Patterson Girl" was, in the words of Armando Mendez, "simultaneously brazen and innocent." Martha H. Kennedy cites Patterson's dependence on the "graphic power of elegant, outlined forms, linear patterns of clothing and trailing smoke to compose strongly decorative, eye-catching designs." Women of the time turned to Patterson's work to follow trends in clothing, jewelry and cosmetics.
|By Leslie thrasher|
Charles Leslie Thrasher was made famous by signing on for a long-term contract to paint every single weeks cover for Liberty Magazine. It was a back-breaking commitment to work at such a pace and an even greater challenge to come up with enough original cover ideas. The latter problem was partially solved by settling on a continuing story line, which followed a couple's courtship, marriage and children. It was a popular series, later made into a movie called "For the Love of Lil." His marriage provided the ingredients for it, and he served as his own model for the hero. As the presentation was humorous and light, the artwork tended to be lightweight, below the standards of his earlier cover work for The Saturday Evening Post, Collier's, and his advertising illustrations Cream of Wheat, Fisk Tires and Spaulding.
|During it's heyday Liberty Magazine was noted for outstanding cover illustrations by Leslie Thrasher, Coles Phillips, Addison Burbank, Neysa McMein, Guernsey Moore and James Montgomery Flagg's work to accompany fiction found inside the magazine.|
|January, 1934, “Women in Riding Habits” by John LaGatta|
|The illustration, by A.H. Fish, appeared on the November 1916 cover.|
|Fashion illustration by Eduardo Garcia Benito, June 1930|
"The New Yorker" was first published by Harold Ross on February 17, 1925, and fast become an important part of American culture. According to Ross' biographer, Thomas Kunkel, he was "a mind so keen, a curiosity so expansive, and a humor so droll" that it was impossible to imagine anyone else editing his magazine. Ross performed that role for The New Yorker from its unimpressive inaugural issue on Feb. 17, 1925-"Traffic did not stop, crowds did not gather, attention generally was not paid," Kunkel notes with characteristic wit-to his death in December 1951, by which time the magazine had established itself as a weekly repository of significant reporting, brilliant fiction, intelligent comment and amusing cartoons.
Rea Irvin was The New Yorker’s first art editor, who gave The New Yorker its distinctive and successful look. When Ross hired Irvin, he had just been fired as art director of the humor magazine Life. Not only did Irvin draw Eustace (who did not yet have a name) for the first cover; he chose the magazine’s text type, and designed the typeface which is used for the magazine’s logo and for its principal headlines. Irvin also designed the three-column layout of the magazine. As the art director, Irvin commissioned the covers by other artists, and was instrumental in inventing the one-line gag cartoon. The clean, all-caps, Art Deco typeface— Irvin is his creation.
|1894: The Thanksgiving-themed issue is one of the first to feature a color cover illustration.|
Harper's Bazaar was launched as a weekly journal in 1867, it was the first version of the modern fashion magazine in America and possibly the world. The early issues of Harper's Bazaar was illustrated and contained information not just on fashion, but also "women's interest" subjects like etiquette and gardening.
Erté (Romain de Tirtoff)who had moved to Monte Carlo, to escape wartime Paris and recuperate from an illness, to support himself, decided to submit some original dress designs with an American magazine. His ﬁrst choices were Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar—he tossed a coin, and Harper’s Bazaar it was. They received his submission, sent him a check, and asked him to send a set of drawings every month. His ﬁrst cover design was published in January,1915, and thus a 22 year collaboration had begun. Soon William Randolph Hearst, who owned Harper’s Bazaar, signed Erté for an exclusive ten year contract. Under this arrangement, each issue of the magazine featured his cover design, which turned out to be a great boost at the newsstands. The magazine also included many of his drawings for interior decoration, fashion accessories, and head pieces. He made over 2,500 drawings for the interior pages.
Carmel Snow (1887-1961), the pioneering Editor-in-Chief of Harpers Bazaar, was considered the most powerful fashion arbiter in America from the 1930s to the 1950s. Born Carmel White in Dalkey, Dublin in 1887, she moved to New York with her parents as a child. She was considered the ‘eagle eye’ and a rising star at Vogue. In 1926, at the age of 39, she was appointed fashion editor and also married her husband George Palen Snow. One of Carmel’s brothers, Tom White, had become general manager of the Hearst publishing organisation in 1929. While Carmel had promised Nast she would not take a job at the rival house, her career at Vogue had stalled and she took a position of Fashion Editor at the stale and dowdy Harper’s Bazaar magazine. Here, she wasted no time rejuvenating the art department and became Editor-in-Chief in 1934. Among the talents she discovered and nurtured was a Hungarian sports and news photographer called Martin Munkacsi. In 1933 she convinced him to shoot the December edition’s ‘Palm Beach’ bathing suit editorial. Speaking no English, he managed to instruct the model to run towards the camera while he captured the image. Up until then, no model had been shown in motion; fashion photography was irrevocably changed. Another discovery was the Russian art director Alexey Brodovitch who pioneered a new look for American magazines and turned Harpers into an admired and influential publication.
|January 1915, Erté's first cover, for the January issue.|
|November 1933, by Erte|
|February 1933, Erte|
|December 1952, One of Avedon's most memorable covers December 1952|
Time became incorporated on November 28, 1922, when two young friends studying journalism at Yale, Henry Luce and Briton Hadden, resigned their jobs at the Baltimore News and moved to New York to begin work on the prospectus for TIME magazine.In fact, after World War I Luce and Hadden had been separated for a while, working as reporters at different newspapers, but then by a remarkable coincidence they both hired at the Baltimore News, which made them realize how their journalistic ideas are similar and thus they would leave after only three months to go to New York and work on their dream publication, a magazine called Facts. Seventy stockholders invested $85,675 to launch the magazine that instead of Facts was now named Time; The weekly news magazine.
Luce and Hadden figured that their main competition is The Literary Digest, and they knew that what they want to offer to their readers would be correcting all of the weaknesses of the Literary Digest, which according to John Tebbel's "The Magazine in America: 1741-1990" was based on an ad hoc selection of subjects, which were then treated somewhat subjectively at length. "Time, by contrast, would cover all the news, briefly and in its own organized way." Luce and Hadden wanted to organize the news down into a logical categorical scheme in which every story would be delivered by a sharp and focused statement that would make it easy for the readers to comprehend and absorb. Time offered its cover as a canvas, and commissioned renowned artists to illustrate the top stories of the day, these included the striking Salvador Dali's photograph by Man Ray on December 14, 1936 issue, Boris Artzybashef, Boris Chaliapin & Ernest Hamlin Baker's expressionist studies of various WWII generals' portraits, and politicians like Dr. Mohammed Mossadeq of Iran, on June 4, 1951 & Jan. 7, 1952 issues, J. Bouche's iconoic Sophia Loren's portrait of April 6, 1962, Marc Chagall’s self-portrait that began the July 30, 1965 issue, Robert Rauschenberg's Pop art collage of Bonnie and Clyde on December 8, 1967 issue, Roy Lichtenstein pop art that accompanied a June 21, 1968 cover story on “The Gun in America”, and Romare Bearden's collage of Mayor John Lindsay on Nov. 1, 1968 cover.
In the beginning years, Hadden was TIME'S editor, Luce its business manager; later, by agreement, they switched jobs. Editor Hadden liked to liven things up by scoffing in print at advertisers' wares....The double-jointed adjectives and inverted sentences of the early days of TIME were tricks that he and Luce, both Greek scholars, had learned from Homer. Hadden applied them so brilliantly that the double-distilled result was hailed as a "new" style, and became TIME'S prose pattern, changing gradually as the magazine matured. In 1929 Hadden died unexpectedly of a blood infection. Luce, though stunned, took the magazine in his strong hands. From then on, Time Inc. was his company and reflected his view of its mission--a view that intersected, much more successfully than Hadden's probably would have, with the character of the age.
According to Isaiah Wilner in his book “The Man Time Forgot: A Tale of Genius, Betrayal, and the Creation of Time Magazine ” the complex relationship between two young men who were, on their face, near polar opposites—Hadden, gregarious, outgoing, a born editor; Luce, introverted, contemplative, a slower study provided the spark that would birth the US' first newsweekly magazine—and with it, the start of a national news media. According to Wilner
"Luce had finished so close behind Hadden for so long—they were rivals ever since Hotchkiss [prep school], where they had competed to be the editor of the newspaper, and Luce had finished behind Hadden. Then what really hurt Luce was losing the chairmanship of the Yale Daily News to Hadden by just one vote. It’s clear from reading his letters that Luce never really got over that loss: Those letters display the rawest emotions he ever wrote.
But the thing was, Hadden really picked Luce up after that and offered him the chance to write half the editorials, and told him they were a team—50/50. Hadden really inspired Luce and helped him to become a stronger person than he was. So Luce’s love for Hadden and his admiration for Hadden were always bound up with a sense of envy and a strong desire to beat Hadden in the end. And that was amplified during the founding years of Time. Hadden insisted on remaining the editor for the vast majority of the time, and Luce badly wished to edit, but he was forced to basically balance the budget. Luce was balancing the budget for four and a half of the first six years, and didn’t get an extended crack at editing until 1928. So there was a lot of bound-up hostility, and in fact, they weren’t speaking during the last year before Hadden’s death.
|Joseph G. Cannon | Mar. 3, 1923, The very first Issue.|
|Oliver Wendell Holmes, Mar. 15, 1926,|
The first introduction of colour.
|Raquel Meller, Apr. 26, 1926,|
Second experiment with the use of colour.
|Leopold C. Amery , Jan. 3, 1927,|
First trial of the red box
|Walter P. Chrysler, Man of the Year,Jan. 7, 1929,|
First use of colour picture
|King Alexander, Feb. 11, 1929,|
After four B&W issues in between, the second use of color picture
|Billy Barton | Mar. 18, 1929,|
The first color action picture
|Helen Wills | July 1, 1929,|
Becoming more bold and taking risk in visual design
|Alois Lang | May 12, 1930.|
Experimenting with bold color accent
|Lucrezia Bori | June 30, 1930,|
Bolder Experiment with accent color
|Bobby Jones | Sep. 22, 1930,|
"Boys! Maybe color should be used in this less radical way."
|King George V & Queen Mary | Oct. 27, 1930|
A good excuse for another attempt at introduction of color in a more conservative way
|Mahatma Gandhi, Man of the Year | Jan. 5, 1931|
A good excuse for a bit of a sneak peek at modernism
|Adolf Hitler | Dec. 21, 1931|
Experimenting with a little bit of theatrics
|Emperor Hirohito | June 6, 1932|
One more attempt at introduction of color and drama
|Ben Eastman | July 11, 1932,|
... and trying once again to become less stuffy
|Adolf Hitler | Mar. 13, 1933|
Using Hitler's dog,
|Emperor Henry Pu Yi | Mar. 5, 1934|
... Or emperor Yi's decorative motifs cannot break the grayish tradition of Time's cover design
|General Lázaro Cárdenas | Dec. 3, 1934|
Using the general to beak the mold, but to no avail
|Ernest Hemingway | Oct. 18, 1937|
Waldo Peirce cover design shows the possibilities of color
|Grover A. Whalen | May 1, 1939|
The cover-design artist raising to the occasion for the up-to-then biggest world's fair in history to create this powerful image.
|Karl von Rundstedt | Aug. 31, 1942.|
During the war years cover designers like Boris Artzybashef used their expressionist style in order to penetrate and study the psychic expression of war personalities.
|General Sir Harold Alexander | Sep. 14, 1942. By Boris Chaliapin|
|Field Marshal von Bock | Sep. 21, 1942. By Boris Artzybashef|
|General Vandegrift | Nov. 2, 1942. By Boris Chaliapin|
|Lt. General Dwight Eisenhower | Nov. 16, 1942. By Ernest Hamlin Baker|
|General Zhukov | Dec. 14, 1942, By Ernest Hamlin Baker|
|Osami Nagano | Feb. 15, 1943. By Boris Artzybashef|
|Milton Berle | May 16, 1949. By Boris Artzybashef|
|Coca Cola, May 15, 1950. By Boris Artzybashef|
Artzybashef was now confident enough to design a critical cover like this of Coke -- Visual communication finally arrived at Time's covers.
|Dr. Mohammed Mossadeq of Iran | June 4, 1951. By Ernest Hamlin Baker|
|Dr. Mohammed Mossadeq of Iran, Man of the Year | Jan. 7, 1952. By Boris Chaliapin|
|Maria Callas | Oct. 29, 1956.By Henry Koerner|
|Charles DeGaulle, Man of the Year | Jan. 5, 1959. By Bernard Buffet|
|Che Guevara | Aug. 8, 1960. By Bernard Safran|
From 1962 Times began a sporadic experimentation with various artistic styles of cover designs.
|Sophia Loren | Apr. 6, 1962, By J. Bouche|
|Adlai E. Stevenson | Dec. 14, 1962|
|January 29, 1965, Today’s Teenagers. By Andy Warhol|
|Marc Chagall | July 30, 1965. By Chagall|
|The Hippies | July 7, 1967. By a group of New York City hippies calling themselves Group Image|
|Inside the Viet Cong | Aug. 25, 1967. By David Stone Martin /td>|
|William F. Buckley Jr. | Nov. 3, 1967. By David Levine|
In 1968, experimentation with bold visual design of various American Pop artists, including Frank Lerner, Roy Lichtenstein, Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Peter Max and others became a more frequent feature of Time's Covers.
|John Galbraith | Feb. 16, 1968. By Frank Lerner|
|Robert F. Kennedy | May 24, 1968. By Roy Lichtenstein|
|The Gun in America | June 21, 1968. By Roy Lichtenstein|
|Lt. Col. Ojukwu | Aug. 23, 1968. By Jacob Lawrence|
|Alexander Solzhenitsyn | Sep. 27, 1968,|
|Prince Charles | June 27, 1969. By Peter Max|
Peter Max, the darling of the psychedelic 1960's, whose distinctive Pop Art was splashed on coffee mugs, T-shirts, postage stamps and Super Bowl posters, have designed the June, 1969 cover.
|The Nixon Presidency | Aug. 15, 1969, Designed by Pat Oliphant|
The cartoon by Pat Oliphant, considered as one of the most influential cartoonist of the era has given this cover issue a taste of what he considered as confrontational art.
|The Homosexual | Oct. 31, 1969, By Fred Burrell|
|Jane, Henry and Peter: The Flying Fondas, February 16, 1970, By Andy Warhol|
|Black America 1970 Artist, April 6, 1970. By Romare Bearden|
|Michael Jackson, March 19, 1984, By Andy Warhol|
|Crime Boss John Gotti Artist, September 29, 1986, By Andy Warhol|
|Women: The Road Ahead Artist, November 1, 1990, By Susan Moore|
Esquire was founded in 1933, as a men’s apparel trade magazine with exclusive distribution through haberdashery stores. By the 1940s, the magazine had broadened its focus and increased in popularity, due in large part to the famous “Varga Girl” covers. As the only general-interest lifestyle magazine for so-called sophisticated men, Esquire defines, reflects and celebrates what it means to be a man in contemporary American culture. Considered required reading for the man who is supposed to be intellectually curious and socially aware, Esquire speaks to the scope and diversity of his passions with spirited storytelling, superb style and a tonic splash of irreverent humor.
Esquire, celebrated for its strong literary tradition, offers pieces on diverse topics—from politics and health to fashion and the arts—by the finest journalists and authors working today. The magazine has always been a showcase for writers, beginning in the '30s with Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Today, it continues to publish such writers as Tom Wolfe, Norman Mailer and Gay Talese, who pioneered the so-called New Journalism in the pages of Esquire in the '60s.
|The Passion of Muhammad Ali: April 1968|
George Lois, a pioneering advertising executive and designer best known for this series of covers he created for Esquire magazine between 1962 and 1972, wholly or partially created some of the most exceptional and memorable ads in history. For better or worse, behemoths of consumerism such as Tommy Hilfiger, Jiffy Lube, ESPN, MTV, and many others have ingrained themselves in American culture because of his indelible campaigns.Lois was born in New York City on June 26, 1931, the son of Greek immigrants. Lois attended the High School of Music and Art.
After the war, Lois went to work for the advertising and promotions department at CBS where he designed print and media projects. In 1959 he was hired by the advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach. After one year there, Lois was recruited by Fred Papert and Julian Koenig to form Papert Koenig Lois in 1960. PKL, as it was known, was also the first advertising agency to ever go public. In 1967 he left to form Lois, Holland, Callaway. His last agency, Lois/USA, which created memorable campaigns for clients such as Minolta, Tourneau and The Four Seasons, ended its run in 1999.
|Kennedy Without Tears: June 1964|
|The Masculinization of the American Woman, March 1965|
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.