Art of History

J.C. Leyendecker: The Making of American Manhood

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Artist and illustrator J.C. Leyendecker (1874-1951) helped shape modern American visual culture as the mind behind advertising campaigns like the legendary “Arrow Collar Man.” He was also responsible for countless covers for the Saturday Evening Post—one more, in fact, than Norman Rockwell. 

Modern biographers also hold that Leyendecker was a gay man. Critics are now asking themselves whether his sexuality permeated into some of his most iconic commercial illustrations. 

Today’s Image: J.C. Leyendecker, “Record Time, Cool Summer Comfort,” (advertisement for Kuppenheimer menswear) (c. 1920). Oil on canvas. National Museum of American Illustration, Newport.

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