"Resume Safe Speed, Saturday Evening Post Cover, 1959"   Lot no. 3935

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By Thornton Utz 1914-1999

39.25" x 29.75"
Oil on Board
Signed Lower Left



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Original cover illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, May 30, 1959.


The Post described, “It is so refreshing to get away from it all, to glide out through the far-horizoned open spaces on the super fastways. If there is a slight hitch in the gliding, how soul-calming is to savor at leisure the beauty of the land. Now the man with a camera—especially a motion-picture camera— can trace out the long course of ribboning highway where countless other travelers bask in the same motionless peace. Now the man with a putter can putter to his heart’s desire. And all along the relaxed miles strangers can strike up happy friendships, as people do on shipboard. Artist Thornton Utz agrees that the man immobilized beside the resume-speed sign is un-co-operative and is muttering, “X!*#X!!” If the approaching storm lets go before he puts his top up, he can say that again.” 


(The Saturday Evening Post, May 30, 1959, p. 3)

J. Cohn, Covers of the Saturday Evening Post, New York, 1998, p. 256, illustrated.


Explore related art collections: Saturday Evening Post Covers / $100,000 & Above / Automotive/Transportation / 1950s

See all original artwork by Thornton Utz



Thornton Utz liked to work out the poses of his figures with rapid, free sketches that clearly expressed the mood or mental attitude of his characters. Once this had been established, he then posed an photographed his models, as nearly as possible, in the predetermined positions. The photos furnished the details of folds and lighting which lent added factuality to his original poses.

   He used this approach effectively for his humorous Saturday Evening Post covers as well as for the more serious fiction illustrations for Cosmopolitan, McCall’s, The Ladies’ Home Journal, Redbook, and Good Housekeeping.

    Utz participated in the Society of Illustrators Air Force Art Program and received a citation from General Curtis LeMay for documenting the airlift of Hungarian refugees. Utz also received the Governor Bryant of Florida Award for his freedom posters.

   He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and studied under Burton Callicott in Memphis. He also attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago and late taught at the Chicago Art Institute. Utz eventually concentrated on paintings and commissioned portraiture, which included President Carter’s family and Princess Grace of Monaco. He was a member of the Chicago Artists Guild and the American Artists Professional League. He later lived in Sarasota, Florida.