Happy New Year: The Art and Life of JC Leyendecker


German born Joseph Christian Leyendecker (1874-1951) became one of the best known American illustrators of the early twentieth century. After studying at the Chicago Art Institute he trained in Paris for a year where he was exposed to Jules Chéret's poster art, Toulouse-Lautrec's prints and Alphonse Mucha'a decorative art. Upon Leyendecker's return to Chicago he began doing covers for The Saturday Evening Post including his iconic New Year's Eve Baby. After moving to New York City his work expanded to the apparel industry and he helped create the visual image for The Arrow Collar Man advertisements that ran from 1905 through 1930. The inspiration for this handsome male figure that resembled a character in a F. Scott Fitzgerald novel was Canadian Charles Beach (1886–1952), Leyendecker's companion. Beach also modeled for other apparel ads that his partner was commissioned to do; Interwoven Socks, Hartmarx, and Kuppenheimer. The couple lived together for fifty years, separated in death by only a year.