"FFA Student with his Father"   Lot no. 3537

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By John Philip Falter (1910-1982)

1955 (Estimated)
41.00" x 29.00"
Oil on Panel
Signed Lower Right



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An FFA student with his father receiving a check for his first delivery of steers to the Omaha stockyard.


The painting was designed to promote an Eli Lilly & Co. Agricultural product called Stilbosol, (an additive for cattle feed), in approximately 1955. Prior to 1957, prints of this painting were given to Stilbosol customers as a thank you when the market share reached 90%. The company, Elanco, was launched in 1960 when the agricultural sales division of Eli Lilly & Co. reorganized, and this painting hung in the lobby.

Explore related art collections: Men / $100,000 & Above / Fatherhood / Rural

See all original artwork by John Philip Falter



    John Philip Falter was born in Plattsmouth and reared in Falls City, Nebraska. He studied at the Kansas City Art Institute, the Art Students League in New York on a scholarship, and the Grand Central School of Art in New York. Among his teachers were Mahonri Young, George Wright and Monte Crews.  

    Falter began his career in illustration early, starting with the Pulps, and at 20, sold his first picture to Liberty, a “slick” paper magazine. Talented and prolific, he soon added most of the other major magazines, and many advertising agencies, to his roster of clients.  

    His most important pictures were painted for the covers of The Saturday Evening Post, and he produced more than 200 of them. Many were based on the experiences of his Nebraska boyhood, in small town and country settings. He also painted a notable series of detailed street scenes in cities across the United States. These grew out of a chance visit of a Post art editor to Falter’s studio; there a picture of Gramercy Park caught his eye, which Falter had painted for pleasure.   

    John served in the Navy as a Chief Boatswain’s Mate during World War II; later, he was commissioned a Lieutenant on special art assignments. Among other projects after the war, he illustrated over 40 books for Reader’s Digest and completed many portrait commissions, including those of Admiral Halsey, Louis Armstrong, Olivia de Havilland, James Cagney, Mrs. Clark Clifford, and tenor John Charles Thomas. He later painted an outstanding series of historical subjects for the Bicentennial, commissioned by the 3M Company in 1976.           

    Falter was a member of the Society of Illustrators, the Players, and the Philadelphia Sketch Club. In 1976, he was elected to the Society of Illustrators’ Hall of Fame. Although he did not often exhibit, his paintings are in several museums.