The Leyendecker Brothers were two of the most beloved American illustrators in the first half of the 20th century, creating iconic images for the nation’s most popular magazines and fashion advertisements.

The Leyendecker Brothers were two of the most beloved American illustrators in the first half of the 20th century, creating iconic images for the nation’s most popular magazines and fashion advertisements.

They both attended the Academie Julianin in Paris, studying under some of Europe’s greatest teachers. This time abroad strengthened the brother’s connection to each other and the flourishing artist community highly influenced their artworks. They returned to Chicago in 1897 before moving to New York City in 1900 as established illustrators; Joe painted his first Saturday Evening Post cover in 1899, and Frank began a six-year twenty-six cover commission for Collier’s.

The Leyendecker Brothers were inseparable and an enormous influence on each other, which can be seen through viewing their original artworks. From the early sketches of their days as students in Paris to the completed canvases for magazine covers, Joe and Frank left an unforgettable mark on the American art community and each other.

Norman Rockwell, America’s best known illustrator, admired both Leyendecker brothers, and considered J.C. his mentor, commenting “there wasn’t an illustrator in the country who could draw better.” Rockwell dedicated an entire chapter of his autobiography to living near the Leyendecker brothers and their influence on him.

Original Works

28 Original paintings, 1 vintage Arrow collar display, 7 vintage posters, 322 Saturday Evening Post covers.

Highlights

The artworks of the Leyendecker brothers epitomize the American style of the first half of the 20th century through magazine covers and advertisements.

Exhibition Materials

High resolution images, captions, wall texts.

Display

The 36 artworks and prints in the exhibition are approximately 200 linear feet.

The Saturday Evening Post covers are approximately 100 linear feet, however that can vary greatly depending on how they are hung. Usually they are hung in four rows on top of each other. However, as long as they are arranged chronologically they can be condensed or expanded as much as needed.

Selected Works