Illustration Historian Walt Reed (1917-2015)


The Norman Rockwell Museum was sad to learn of the recent passing of illustration historian, Walter Arnold Reed on March 18, 2015 at his home in Westport, CT. Reed is the author of many books on American illustration, including The Illustrator in America, 1860-2000 (2001), the invaluable chronological compendium of illustrators and their art which has updated and re-issued several times, and most recently, Harvey Dunn: Illustrator and Painter of […]

The Original Gerber Baby


The Gerber Products Company recently announced the winner of its 5th Annual Gerber Spokesbaby Photo Contest. After receiving over 180,000 submissions, the judges selected this endearing picture of seven-month-old Grace. In 1928, the original search for the Gerber Baby took place which resulted in the winning baby portrait becoming its iconic trademark.


The popular image was the outcome of Frank Daniel Gerber and Daniel Frank Gerber, owners of the Fremont Canning […]

Warhol Art will be Popping


In the next few years, expect nearly 40 exhibitions featuring the work of Andy Warhol as a result of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts distributing last of its holdings. The final 14,000 pieces, mostly previously unseen photographic material and prints, were donated with the stipulation that the recipients would exhibit their gifts within 5 years.  Since the Foundation’s inception, over 52,000 Warhol works of art have been […]

150 Years ago, Harper’s Weekly published The Union Christmas Dinner

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Most of us are familiar with the iconic Thomas Nast (1840-1902) illustration of Santa Claus featured in Harper’s Weekly, 1881. Nast was inspired by Clement Moore’s classic yuletide poem A Visit from St. Nicholas, and is attributed with influencing our modern day concept of Santa Claus. Between 1863 to 1886, he submitted thirty-three Christmas drawings to Harper’s Weekly.



Published by Harper’s on December 31, 1864, Nast’s very poignant holiday picture, The […]

Subjects of Rockwell Painting Receive Posthumous Award

On November 24, 2014, President Obama awarded nineteen Americans with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, our Nation’s highest civilian honor.  The subjects in Norman Rockwell’s painting Murder in Mississippi were posthumous recipients.

In a statement by the White House, “James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were civil rights activists and participants in “Freedom Summer,” an historic voter registration drive in 1964.  As African Americans were systematically being blocked […]

August 26


On this day, August 26, 1901, illustrator Earle K. Bergey was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He studed at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and then went to work for Philadelphia’s Public Ledger. Bergey is best remembered for his pulp-fiction cover art, comic book cover art, and glamour illustrations.

August 25


On this day, August 25, 1959, illustrator and children’s book author Ian Woodward Falconer was born in Ridgefield, Connecticut. He studied art history at New York University, and art at Parsons School of Design and the Otis Art Institute. In addition to creating a variety of Olivia story books, Falconer has also produced theater set designs and costumes and many New Yorker magazine covers.


August 24


On this day, August 24, 1886, illustrator Walter Haskell Hinton was born in San Francisco, California. Hinton studied art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In addition to cover illustration art and pulp illustration art, Hinton also produced advertising images for tractor company John Deere and images for Brown and Bigelow calendars.

August 23


On this day, August 23, 1953, artist and graphic designer F. Winold Reiss died in New York City. German born, Reiss immigrated to the U. S. in 1913. His illustration work includes graphically dynamic WWI war posters; interpretations of Harlem Jazz and Steel Workers; illustrations for Alain Locke’s book The New Negro; and this cover illustration proposal for Fortune magazine.


August 22


On this day, August 22, 1880, cartoonist George Herriman was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. When he was ten his family moved to Los Angeles. By the age of 17, and after high school Herriman worked as an illustrator and engraver for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. In 1913 Herriman’s best known strip Krazy Kat was created.

August 21


On this day, August 21, 1929, comic book artist and colorist Marie Severin was born in East Rockaway, New York. She studied for a short time at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Severin began working for EC Comics as a colorist in the late 40s. She also worked for Marvel Comics in production. Severin was Marvel’s head colorist until 1972. Later she was a co-creator of Spider-Woman, Howard the Duck.


August 20


On this day, August 20, 1880, illustrator Walter Hunt Everett was born in Haddonfield, New Jersey. Everett studied at the Howard Pyle School of Art in Wilmington, Delaware and as early as 1904 began providing illustrations for The Saturday Evening Post. Everett also established the illustration department at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art.

August 19


On this day, August 19, 1877, illustrator Frank Earle Schoonover was born in Oxford, New Jersey. Instead of entering the ministry as his parents had wanted, Schoonover studied with Howard Pyle at Drexel Institute in Philadelphia. Like other Pyle students, Schoonover often travelled to the places he would illustrate, giving his illustration work a grounding in reality.


August 18


On this day, August 18, 1943, illustrator Richard Bober was born in Elizabeth New Jersey. Bober studied at Pratt Institute and at the Art Students League in New York. He is known for his cover illustrations for thriller and fantasy-related paperbacks.

August 17


On this day, August 17, 1956, comic book artist John Romita Jr. was born in New York City. JRJR, as he is known, focused on being an artist like his father, Spider-Man artist John Romita Sr. JRJR made his first contribution to Marvel Comics at the age of 13. He has contributed to Iron Man, Spider-Man, Hydro-Man, Hobgoblin, and Uncanny X-Men.


August 16


On this day, August 16, 1892, Otto Messmer was born in West Hoboken (now, Union City), New Jersey. Messmer studied at the Thomas School of Art in New York City. He began his career creation illustrations for fashion catalogs. Inspired by Winsor McCay, Messmer began making comics for local newspapers. He created the proto-type of Felix the Cat in 1919 while working for the Patrick Sullivan studio in New York.


August 15


On this day, August 15, 1994, pulp illustrator Richard Lillis died in New York City. After WWI, Lillis studied art at the Art Students League. His first pulp cover illustration appeared on West Magazine in 1929. Lillis was a friend of Ralph DeSoto and he worked as a studio assistant and posed as a model to help DeSoto.

August 14


On this day, August 14, 2011, illustrator, animator, and graphic designer Saul Mandel died in New York. Over his career Mandel created many advertising illustrations for a wide variety of companies. Among his most iconic creations are the Jolly Green Giant and the Puppy Love stamps for the U. S. Post Office in 1986.


August 13


On this day, August 13, 1874, illustrator Frederick Stewart Manning was born in Port Huron, Michigan. Early on he worked as a cartoonist for the Colorado Springs Gazette in Colorado. After working in Denver and Chicago, Manning moved to New York City where he worked creating advertising illustrations and sheet music illustrations.

August 12


On this day, August 12, 2001, pulp illustrator Harry Barton died. He studied at the Art Students League in New York. In the 50s Barton began producing pulp covers and covers for digests and paperback books.


August 11


On this day, August 11, 1902, pulp illustrator Jack Binder was born in Harka, Hungary. The family moved to the U. S. in 1910 to join the father in the U. P. of Michigan. Binder worked as an engraver while he attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In the 30’s Binder moved to New York and began selling illustrations to the pulps. In the 40s he began supplying […]

August 10


On this day, August 10, 1955, Tom Kidd was born in Tampa, Florida. After a couple of years of study at Syracuse University, Kidd moved to New York City and began to work as a science fiction and fantasy illustrator and as a designer for films, theme parks, and figurines. His work has won many accolades including Hugo nominations, Chesley awards, an AnLab award, and the 2003 World Fantasy award for […]

August 9


On this day, August 9, 1931, illustrator Mike Hinge born Auckland, New Zealand. He came to the United States on a green card in 1958 and studied at the Art Center School of Design in Los Angeles. His work includes many memorable book and magazine covers for the work of science fiction and cover portraits for Time magazine.

August 8

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On this day, August 8, 1961, illustrator Rafael López born Mexico City, Mexico. Trained at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, López has illustrated a variety of children’s books, designed stamps, and painted murals.

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