"On Santa's Knee, "The Sweetest Story Ever Told""   Lot no. 3781

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By Walter Beach Humphrey (American - 1892-1966)

41" x 28"
Oil on Canvas
Signed Lower Right

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Illustration for Chocolate Candy Advertisement

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See all original artwork by Walter Beach Humphrey



      Walter Beach Humphrey specialized in painting magazine covers and he eventually did work for almost all of them, beginning with small-circulation publications such as The Zenith, Elks, Peoples' Popular Monthly, Argosy, and the YMCA's Association Men, and progressing to the major weekly magazines: Collier's, The Saturday Evening Post, and Liberty.

            Born in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, Humphrey studied at Dartmouth and the Art Students League under Frank DuMond. He spent two years painting murals for the student dining room of his Dartmouth alma mater, unveiled in 1939, which later become the center of a heated controversy. Based on a mythological Indian theme, it aroused the ire of the Native American students who were first admitted in 1970 and saw no humor in Humphrey's interpretation of the college drinking song or white cheerleaders in headdresses. The murals were shuttered.

            The rest of Humphrey's career was less sensational. He was an active member of the New Rochelle Art Association and taught at the Albert Leonard High School in New Rochelle and at the Phoenix Art Institute in New York City.