Saturday, 24 March 2018

Beautiful covers #3 - N.C Wyeth in the Popular Magazine


One of N.C. Wyeth's cover paintings for The Popular Magazine is up for sale. Root around the sofa cushions, you'll need your spare change for this one - estimated sale price is from $100,000 - $150,000. You won't be getting Wyeth's signature on this one, though, it's signed Pearson Barnes; the explanation from the catalog is interesting:

Christine Podmaniczky explains the inscription on A Hindu Mystic (Seated Arab): "The name Pierson (note variant spelling) Barnes occurs in both the 1900 and the 1920 census of Birmingham Township, and Barnes' presence in Chadds Ford around 1911 is documented in several letters written by historian Chris Sanderson to his mother (Thomas R. Thompson, Chris, Philadelphia, 1973, pp. 180, 182). Barnes worked as a day laborer and boarded with Lydia Archie, an African-American preacher who established a church in a section of Chadds Ford known as 'Little Africa.' According to Andrew Wyeth, his father 'borrowed' the name Barnes as a joke when he encountered a rule at The Popular Magazine that an artist was not permitted two consecutive covers" (N.C. Wyeth: A Catalogue RaisonnĂ©, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, 2008, vol. I, p. 264).


N.C. Wyeth cover painting titled "A Hindu Mystic (Seated Arab) (sic)" from Sotheby's catalog
N.C. Wyeth cover painting titled "A Hindu Mystic (Seated Arab) (sic)" from Sotheby's catalog

N.C. Wyeth cover for The Popular Magazine issue dated January 1, 1913, courtesy the FictionMags Index
N.C. Wyeth cover for The Popular Magazine issue dated January 1, 1913, courtesy the FictionMags Index


The previous cover which the catalog refers to is this one, the December 15, 1912 issue:

N.C. Wyeth cover for The Popular Magazine issue dated December 15, 1912, courtesy the FictionMags Index
N.C. Wyeth cover for The Popular Magazine issue dated December 15, 1912, courtesy the FictionMags Index

And to round these off, his final pulp cover painting for, you guessed it, The Popular Magazine, March 20, 1926.

N.C. Wyeth cover for The Popular Magazine issue dated March 20, 1926, courtesy the FictionMags Index
N.C. Wyeth cover for The Popular Magazine issue dated March 20, 1926, courtesy the FictionMags Index


2 comments:

  1. Beautiful is right! N.C. Wyeth is on several covers for THE POPULAR MAGAZINE. I have a set of the over 600 issues and the artists were often well above the standard of the usual pulp art. POPULAR even had a Norman Rockwell cover and he went on to command top dollar for his cover art. The Brandywine Museum in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania has an excellent collection of NC Wyeth cover paintings.

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    1. Some more photos of his cover paintings for the Popular magazine can be found at the Brandywine museum site's N.C. Wyeth Catalogue raisonne.


      Enter the words "popular magazine" in quotes into the search box at the top, and you'll get about 30 of his paintings. Be sure to expand the curatorial remarks section on the right side of each painting, where present. It's not as good as going there in person, as i was fortunate enough to do last year, but it's as close as you can get online. Enjoy.

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