Monday, November 10, 2014

Have a good Veteran's Day.

A soldier celebrates Thanksgiving. J.C. Leyendecker, 1917.

On Veteran's Day please take a moment to remember the brave men and women to whom we owe so much.

A fascinating look at WWI history and how the utterly tragic 'war to end all wars' influenced the shape of our world today - from the NY TIMES.


  1. Dear Yvette,

    Thank you for observing the day. I am a veteran, but never saw"action," thank goodness!

    The image you've chosen has an interesting history.

    J.C. Leyendecker's model for the Arrow Shirt Man and all his other iconic male figures was the handsome Charles Beach, also Leyendecker's life partner. Beach was by all accounts a difficult person, and he isolated Leyendecker from other's, including Leyendecker's own brother, Frank.

    Leyendecker had a clause in his contract that all original art would be returned to him. Thus, when Leyendecker died, Charles Beach essentially owned a lifetime of the illustrator's art. Beach took that collection and held a huge yard sale, vastly underpricing everything. Original magazine covers sold for $75. Sketches, like the one above sold for $25. Canvases that had multiple sketches were cut up into pieces and sold for $2 and $5. People flocked to the sale and bought up everything very quickly, as you might imagine. Beach, by then an old man, took his pathetic earnings, lived in a boarding house and drank himself to death.

    Anyway, the beautifully framed image above was doubtlessly sold for $25!!

  2. Norman Rockwell called Beach '...a blood sucker.' The whole thing was so tragic. I'd heard about the 'yard sale', Mark. Oh well, at least tons of people got to own a Leyendecker work. What else can you say?

    P.S. I'd also read that the Leyendeckers had a very lavish lifestyle - that didn't help. Especially when the commissions began to dry up as Leyendecker's work went out of fashion. Now, of course, everyone loves it and really does understand, I think, how brilliant an artist he was.


Your comment will appear after I take a look.