Media File
Joseph Christian Leyendecker
Date: American painter and illustrator, 1874–1951
Biography: Born in Germany, Leyendecker moved with his family to Chicago in 1882, where at the age of 16 he apprenticed at an engraving firm, saving his earnings to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Further studies in Paris followed, where he also exhibited his work and took note of the prevailing Art Nouveau style for posters. He also designed 12 covers for Inland Printer & sent them to the American publisher from Paris. Not long after he settled permanently in New York, in 1899, he designed the first of his over-300 covers for The Saturday Evening Post; he also designed 48 covers for Collier’s Weekly between 1898 and 1918. His last Saturday Evening Post cover was in 1936, when he ceded his senior position to Norman Rockwell, his primary competitor at the magazine. Rockwell, 20 years younger, acknowledged Leyendecker as an influence and valued both his friendship and artistic talents, which Rockwell thought surpassed his own.