As I’ve done every New Year’s Eve for the past six years, I’ll wish all Lines and Colors readers a Happy Leyendecker Baby New Year!
In addition to crystalizing our popular image of Santa Claus (see my recent post), the great American illustrator J.C. Leyendecker originated the contemporary concept of representing the new year as a baby, starting with his New Year’s cherub that welcomed in 1907 on a December, 1906 issue of The Saturday Evening Post.
He followed up in December of 1907 with an actual baby (sans wings) to represent the new year of 1908, and continued to represent the new year as a baby, usually portrayed as a personification of political or economic trends expected to be prevalent in the coming year, on into the 1940′s.
The beautiful high-quality image at top is from Scribble Junkies, where you can find a somewhat larger version, also with other smaller images.
Curtis Publishing continues to maintain (and is improving) its archive of Saturday Evening Post covers, including a section for J.C. Leyendecker covers in general and a new one specifically for New Years Babies.
I wish everyone a beautiful new year filled with lots of wonderful art, both old and new!