Happy New Year, Baby!

Q. What fellow Saturday Evening Post illustrator and hero for Norman Rockwell is credited with coming up with the image of the New Year’s Baby?

J.C. Leyendecker (1874-1951), "Forging a New Year," December 27, 1930 cover of "The Saturday Evening Post." Courtesy www.saturdayeveningpost.com

“Forging a New Year,” December 27, 1930 cover of “The Saturday Evening Post.” Courtesy www.saturdayeveningpost.com

A. J.C. Leyendecker created 319 covers for The Saturday Evening Post. From 1903 to 1943, as one of the top cover artists, he was commissioned to do holiday issue covers including Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentine’s Day, July 4th and the forerunner of Presidents Day. He employed the Pilgrim and the turkey to signify Thanksgiving, Uncle Sam for July 4th and, in 1906, created the icon of the new-born baby as an emblem of the New Year. This became his own trademark. After many years of interpreting the holidays, Leyendecker managed to generate fresh ideas, execute them with conviction and give them amusing twists of humor.

Text from the 1997-1998 Norman Rockwell Museum exhibition, J.C. Leyendecker: A Retrospective.

Learn more about illustration at The Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies


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