This oil on canvas is a fabulous and fresh to the market cover painting by the prolific American artist E.M. Jackson created for the November, 1930 issue of The Ladies Home Journal. A smartly posed flapper and rich autumn color palette mark this impressive depiction of a homecoming scene that captures the jazz age freedom of the college set. The image features a stylish homecoming queen adorned in a stylish cloche hat in an open air roadster perched on a rumble seat at the big parade before the even bigger football game.
This scene draws from the idealized vision of college life which was popularized by artists John Held Jr., Henry Clive and Rolf Armstrong in emerging magazines like “The Smart Set”, “College Humor”, “Judge” and “Life Magazine”, which created an icon out of the collegiate, fashion forward, modernist flapper girl.
ELBERT McGRAN JACKSON (1896-1962) Elbert McGran Jackson, or E.M., Jackson, was one of the principal artists for The Saturday Evening Post and Country Gentleman magazines, with 58 covers to his credit. Born in 1896, he showed an interest in drawing from an early age. As a child there was only one art teacher in town from which he could take lessons, and he did so with zeal. He graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Architecture. Once he realized that his passion was illustration, he began studying art at night. He was mentored by established illustrators, such as James Montgomery Flagg, and sold his first illustrations as a young man.
An artistic specialty of Jackson�s was painting women in poses that made them appear seductive and glamorous amidst architecturally authentic backgrounds. His technique was spontaneous as he painted from posed models. Usually, he illustrated for manuscripts involving romance and high society. However, he also illustrated for a wide variety of genres, including murder mystery and masculine adventure.
More than thirty of Jackson�s Post covers were illustrated during the 1920s. Jackson drew many covers that were sentimental or humorous. Jackson also painted portraits that represented the modern relationships between men and women, such as the May 10, 1930 Post cover of a young man and a young woman sitting back to back at a barber shop taking in one another’s new hairdos.
Through his work for The Saturday Evening Post, and covers for other mainstream American titles including Collier’s, and The Ladies Home Journal, E.M. Jackson, known primarily for his realist/representational art style, showed a more whimsical and varied side to his long and successful career as an illustrator, before his passing in 1962.