Early cover painting by Jerome Rozen for the June 7, 1927 long running twice monthly adventure pulp title Popular Stories. This painting illustrates a moment from the first installment of “Marching Men” by Fred Mac Isaac, which told the story of settlers moving west through Indian country in the immediate aftermath of the Civil war. The scene shows a covered wagon western Americana image with civil war drama. The depiction, in the strong color blocks for which the pulps were famed, features a Union soldier in conflict with an elderly African American former slave and sympathetic young damsel who are attempting to flee unspoken horrors through the desolate prairie.
The verso pine stretchers have pencil notations that read “June 7, 1927 Popular.”
The Popular Magazine was a very successful and long running Street & Smith publication that was essentially adventure based stories for what the publishers referred to “as common people.” In 1903 The Popular Magazine was launched, and was billed as the “biggest magazine in the world” (by virtue of being two pages longer than Argosy). The Popular Magazine introduced the use of color covers to the pulp world, Harvey Dunn, Edgar Wittmack and Jerome Rozen were among artists that created covers for the title.
The twin brother of illustrator George Rozen, Jerome Rozen became a well-known pulp illustrator. Both of the boys showed early art talent.
For health reasons before World War I, he and his brother as teenagers with the other members of the immediate family moved to Flagstaff, Arizona. In World War I, Jerome served in Europe where he visited many art galleries. He enrolled in the Art Institute of Chicago where he became a teacher, and his students included his brother who came a year later. Some of his early illustrations were for Boy’s Life and The Popular Magazine as early as 1927, and Battle Stories by 1928.
Jerome Rozen and his wife, Della Kretchmar, moved to the Bronx where he opened a studio and became a highly successful pulp artist and illustrator, getting early attention for his cover work illustrating “The Shadow” written by Walter Gibson and published by Street and Smith.
His wife was killed in an auto accident, and he was severely injured, but he lived to age 92. In his later years, photography replaced his interest in illustration.