Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sarah Stilwell Weber: More Than Kiddie Covers

Sarah Stilwell Weber (1878-1939) or (1863-1935), both sets of dates are in various places on the Internet, was a successful illustrator during the first two decades of the 20th century. Her illustrations graced the covers and interiors of several leading magazines as well as books and advertisements.

Unfortunately, I can find little in the way of information about her on the Internet, though two sites dealing with her are here and here.

What little detail follows is gleaned from Walt Reed's "The Illustrator in America, 1860-2000." Reed and other sources I'm inclined to trust have 1878-1939 as her dates. She studied under Howard Pyle both at Drexel and in summer sessions at Chadd's Ford. Reed also notes her book illustration work and some advertising clients.

That being that, all I can do is present some examples of her work.


Harper's magazine interior page - February 1903
Stilwell was hitting the big-time around age 25.

Collier's - August 1907

Collier's cover art - 17 March 1906
One of Stilwell's best-known works.

Saturday Evening Post cover - 19 January 1916
It seems she borrowed the general idea ten years later for Collier's rival, the Post.

Saturday Evening Post cover - 29 January 1910

Saturday Evening Post cover - 20 August 1910
Many of her covers used children as subjects.

Vogue cover - 15 October 1912
More leopard, this time skinned, and for Vogue.

Vogue cover - 15 June 1913
This seems to be unsigned, but Internet sites credit her with the illustration.

Collier's cover - 9 May 1914
A really fine illustration here.

Saturday Evening Post cover - 3 March 1917
The Russian-type costume was ill-timed, because the February Revolution (March 8-12, new calendar) occurred just after this issue was off the news stands, and Russia became more chaotic than it usually was in those years.

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