Saturday Evening Post Cover, April 29, 1961
Amos Sewell was born in San Francisco and moved to New York where he attended the Arts Students League. One of his teachers was Harvey Dunn whom he emulated and who inspired him to become an illustrator. He did many covers for Country Gentleman and The Saturday Evening Post and is best known for painting everyday people doing everyday things.
One of his best-loved covers is “Visiting Hours,” where a father and son come to visit Mom in the hospital. Since the misses appears to be recovering nicely, their attention drifts to the baseball game on television. Notice the rabbit ears, the black and white television, and even more indicative of the era, the ashtray filled with used cigarettes.
Born in San Francisco, Amos Sewell was a ranking California tennis player in his 20s when he suffered several ignominious defeats at the hands of Donald Budge, who would go on to win titles at Wimbleton and the U.S. Open in the 1930s. Convinced he was, ahem, in the wrong racket, he quit the sport to take a position in a bank for several years. Evenings were spent studying art, and vacations consisted of trips up and down the Pacific Coast, sketching and etching. In 1931, in the middle of the Depression, he decided he was tired of banking and hopped on a lumber boat bound for New York, via the Panama Canal. Like many illustrators of the time, he got his first freelance illustration assignments from the pulp fiction world, doing inside magazine illustrations for Street & Smith Publications in New York. In 1936 he did his first major work for The Country Gentleman and began working for the Post on a regular basis the following year.
Exhibitions: Christie's New York, Illustrating America: Norman Rockwell and His Contemporaries, November 30, 2013- January, 2014
Norman Rockwell Museum Exhibition at South Dakota Art Museum, Brookings, South Dakota, May 5, 2015 - September 13, 2015