A delightful, vibrant watercolor work by Frances Tipton Hunter commissioned either for calendar use or as a cover for an American mainstream magazine. A wholesome Americana depiction titled “For A Good Boy,” this scene typifies the style Hunter was known for. A group of children marvel at the center boys new bicycle presented him on his birthday the card reads “For a Good Boy…” Piece is nicely matted and framed, signed lower right and addressed on the verso in the artist’s hand with her Philadelphia, PA address.
Frances Tipton Hunter (1896-1957) was an important American illustrator whose career spanned the years from the early 1920s to the late 1950s. Born in Howard, PA, Hunter had a childhood marked by the death of her mother when Frances was only six years old. Thereafter, the future illustrator was raised by her aunt and uncle.
Hunter’s artist talent was recognized early in high school, and she studied and graduated with honors from the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Arts, and then continued her studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Fleisher Art Memorial. Like many women illustrators of her time, Hunter made children her specialty, and was particularly noted for her charming portrayals of children and their pets.
Her early professional work appeared in the “Woman’s Home Companion”, with subsequent illustrations appearing in “Collier’s”, “Liberty”, “Good Housekeeping”, and “Ladies Home Journal”. She was also well known for her advertising, puzzle, and calendar art. In the early 1920s, Hunter created a delightful paper doll series featuring six beguiling youngsters, which appeared for the first time in the popular magazine “Woman’s Home Companion”. In 1935, just prior to her first cover work for “The Saturday Evening Post”, the Whitman Publishing Company of Racine, Wisconsin published The Frances Tipton Hunter Picture Book”, which featured 20 color and 12 black and white illustrations of children and their pets, accompanied by verses and stories by Marjorie Barrows.
In 1943, this same company published a compendium of her paper doll artwork, titled “Frances Tipton Hunter’s Paper Dolls”. While her work in these books, magazines, and advertisements attest to her talent during a time when women’s abilities were rarely recognized, it was her cover work for “The Saturday Evening Post” that earned her a place among the top illustrators of the twentieth century. From 1936 to 1941, Tipton contributed 15 covers to The Saturday Evening Post, which was recognized as the premier outlet for American illustrators.