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"Saturday Evening Post" covers by Norman Rockwell


Held at: Philadelphia History Museum [Contact Us]15 South 7th Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19106

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Philadelphia History Museum. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

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The Saturday Evening Post was first published on August 4, 1821 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as a weekly magazine. In 1897, the magazine was purchased by the Curtis Publishing Company. In 1982, the Post was sold to the Saturday Evening Post Society. The Post's headquarters moved to Indianapolis in the 1970s and remain there as of 2014, although there have been recent attempts by the Society to return the editorial offices to Philadelphia.

"Purchased in 1897 by Cyrus H. Curtis, The Saturday Evening Post rose to the coveted status of "America's Magazine" by showcasing the best American writers, artists and illustrators of the twentieth century. Curtis paid $1,000 for the magazine, which had origins back to 1728 and Benjamin Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette. Starting with a handful of worn type, some paper, and a modest circulation of 2,000, he published the first issue under the imprint of Curtis Publishing and brought the magazine's circulation to more than a million by 1908. By 1960, the circulation had soared to over six million...

"The magazine continued to thrive through the Great Depression, World War II, the Baby Boom years and well into the 60's. In 1970, noted industrialist and entrepreneur Dr. Beurt SerVaas, with his wife and Publisher Dr. Cory SerVaas, revitalized The Saturday Evening Post, now published bi-monthly.

"Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), the most famous of the Post's artists, began his association with the magazine in 1916. At the age of 22, he painted his first cover for The Saturday Evening Post. During his more than 50-year career with the Post, Rockwell contributed over 300 paintings. Famous for such endearing illustrations as "The Four Freedoms", "The Runaway", "Marbles Champion", and "Triple Self Portrait", Rockwell is still commonly revered as the best-known and most universally loved American artist." (Curtis Publishing Company)

The last Saturday Evening Post Norman Rockwell cover was published in February 1979 as a tribute to the artist, who had died the previous year.


Quoted text from: Curtis Publishing Company. "History." Accessed November 19, 2014.

McDonald, Keith. "The History Behind Norman Rockwell and the Saturday Evening Post Covers." Accessed November 19, 2014.

This collection consists of over 300 covers of original editions of the Saturday Evening Post from 1918 to 1975 that feature Rockwell's illustrations. Note that only the covers are part of this collection, not the full issues of the Post.

An item level inventory is available on site.

Gift of Marshall L. Stoltz, 1998 (accession 98.1)

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Philadelphia History Museum directly for more information.

Philadelphia History Museum
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Sarah Leu through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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