"Ski Equipment Still Life, Saturday Evening Post Cover "   Lot no. 2536

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By John Atherton (1900-1952)

1945 (Estimated)
21.25" x 16.50", Framed 30.35" x 25.50"
Signed Lower Left



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Cover of The Saturday Evening Post, February 3, 1945


The Post described, "The mountain you see in John Atherton's Post cover is Mount Nowhere. It could be in Canada, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts or any one of the various places in which Mr. Atherton and his wife, both inveterate skiers, have schussed down mountainsides. But it isn't in any of them. It's just the artist's idea of a grand place to ski if he ever found himself in Never-Never Land during a snowstorm with a pair of skis at hand. The knapsack in the picture is the one Mr. Atherton always carries on his trips. It has metal back braces which are held in place by a belt around the middle which would help to protect the skier from broken bones in a fall." (The Saturday Evening Post, February 3, 1945, p. 2)

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See all original artwork by John Atherton


   For John Atherton there was no line drawn between “fine” and “commercial” art. He painted pictures for advertisers, magazine covers, and galleries alike, all characterized by his strong sense of design, color and good taste.

   Atherton was born in Brainerd, Minnesota, and he studied at the College of the Pacific, and the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco. He first worked in a number of West Coast art studios learning the basics of his craft. When he won a $500 first prize award in the annual exhibit of the Bohemian Club in 1929, it financed his move to New York.

    There he began to do advertisements for General Motors, the Container Corporation of America, and Shell Oil, as well as covers for Fortune, Holiday, and The Saturday Evening Post.

    His first one-man show was held in Manhattan in 1936; in the “Artists for Victory” show in 1943, his painting, The Black Horse, won the $3,000 fourth prize from among 14,000 entries. It is now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. His work is also represented at the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Chicago Art Institute, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, and the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford.

   Atherton’s great avocation was fishing. He tied flies of original design expertly, was a member of the Angler’s Club and author of a book, The Fly and the Fish. His death occurred while he was on a salmon fishing trip in New Brunswick, Canada.