Monday, March 6, 2023

Ernest Hamlin Baker's Fortune Magazine Covers

Ernest Hamlin Baker (1889-1975) is probably best known for the many cover portraits he made for Time Magazine 1940-1955.   I wrote about him here, and background information is here.

Although Baker was building his career during the 1920s, some casual Internet image surfing failed to turn up anything from that decade by him.

So from our perspective, Baker doesn't really emerge until the 1930s.  And in the form of 14 or so cover illustrations he made for Henry Luce's new business-oriented Fortune Magazine that began publication in 1930.

In those Great Depression days, Fortune was expensive to buy.   In part that was due to its production values.  For example, covers were printed on heavy, non-glossy stock.  Below are images of Baker-illustrated covers.  Some can be clicked on to enlarge.


Time Magazine 16 June 1944 cover portrait of Admiral Raymond Spruance
Spruance is regarded by me and others as the U.S. Navy's leading World War 2 combat admiral.  The style Baker used here is typical of his work for Time, and differs from what he did for Fortune.

April 1931
This seems to be Baker's first Fortune cover.  Its connection to the business world seems obscure.

July 1931
This is more like it, an ocean liner departing its New York City pier.

April 1932
A huge piece of road-building equipment.

June 1932
And let's not forget agriculture.

December 1932
Holiday season in the depths of the Depression.

January 1933
Next month, Baker offered a quite different style.

March 1933
Simplicity was found in many Fine Art painting of the time as well as this Baker illustration.

August 1933
Inter-city busses were popular means of transportation back then.

January 1934
Severe winters required snowplows for steam locomotives.

August 1934
A mining scene.

June 1935
More agriculture.

October 1935
And again.

November 1936
At this time, the U.S. automobile industry was making a recovery from the worst of the Depression.  The car on the hauler has one of those new, all-steel roofs.

April 1937
This seems to be Baker's final Fortune cover.  It deals with the new guidance systems for airliners.

1 comment:

Mr. Freed Finch said...

thomas hart benton of illustaration?