Leslie Thrasher

Leslie Thrasher, "The New Father" (Liberty Magazine Cover Illustration, 1928), 1920-1929
Oil Paint
19 x 17 in
I have had five children, two with colic, and I can relate COMPLETELY to this poor young fellow crooning a "Lullaby" in an attempt to sooth this wailing baby! A perfect painting for that hapless "hands-on" Dad you love, or perhaps your favorite pediatrician. Or really any art collector, male or female, who has lived through the joys and travails of rearing kids! This is the original oil painting created for the cover illustration for the July 14, 1928 issue of Liberty Magazine, a popular lifestyle weekly at the height of the Roaring 20's. It was painted by the famous illustrator Leslie Thrasher, who also created 23 covers for the even more famous Saturday Evening Post, and has been compared to Norman Rockwell. In fact, those who have said his talents were not quite up to Rockwell's level have to admit that Thrasher had a lot less time to perfect his work, as he was hugely prolific. He created 360 illustrations for Liberty Magazine alone! He was paid $1,000 per week starting in 1924 by Liberty for his cover art, which was HUGE money back then (just under $15,000 in today's dollars . . . which makes my $8,500 price seem pretty cheap, if I may say so myself)! Thrasher also created advertising illustrations for products including Chesterfield Cigarettes, Cream of Wheat, DuPont and Fisk Tire Company. Often his illustrations were humorous, as this one. Thrasher was a WWI hero who had come through a gas attack with lung damage, and sadly later died of smoke inhalation following a house fire trying to rescue his wife (a sad irony, since his lungs were already compromised)). Much of his work was destroyed in this fire, making the illustrations a lot more rare. Prices for Leslie Thrasher original cover illustrations, as you will see if you search, range from $7,100 for a not-so-desirable image to one priced at $143,000 (??!!). Most are in the $11,000 to $20,000 range, so I feel my pricing is quite modest, for a particularly amusing one. This artwork was used later on the cover of the 1997 book "The Modernization of Fatherhood" by Ralph LaRossa -- a copy of which will be included with your purchase as a "bonus" (see photo). I'd love to include a copy of the July 14th, 1928 issue of Liberty, but I have not been able to find one yet. I am sure they're out there somewhere. I did notice that there were a few other Liberty covers in the same general timeframe that featured fathers humorously trying their best to help out with babies; it must have been a period where the role of father was being expanded, to everyone's amusement! The canvas is framed under glass (flat, but not stretched) with cardboard behind it (but not glued). There is a strip of canvas with the date, "July 14, '28" and some numbers on the back of the frame. It appears to be a piece trimmed from the margin of the painted canvas. This was the date the illustration appeared on the magazine cover. With frame: 19" H x 17" Without: 17" H x 15" W Signed at bottom left: "Leslie Thrasher" The back of the canvas is dated, "JULY 14, 1928" (date of the cover it appeared on) along with 5/1/28, which could be the creation or approval date.