"Backyard Campers, The Saturday Evening Post Cover"   Lot no. 4054

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By Amos Sewell (American- 1901-1983)

28.25" x 21.75
Gouache on Board
Signed Lower Left



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Original cover illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, September 5, 1953.


The Post described, “One of childhood’s most delightful experiences is to sleep outdoors at night where it is uncomfortable and terrifying. If a lad is torn from sleep by the whispering of a ghost, the scream of a madwoman or the exploding of a bomb—(a whispering pine, a screech owl or the cat tips over the garbage can), all his life the memory of the horror will somehow be hauntingly pleasant, and he will muse, “Ah, to be a child again!” Most adults get scared pie-eyed in their own beds by strange noises in the house; so why yearn for childhood? The lads in Sewell’s painting have one greater thrill ahead, the night they use sleeping bags out under the bare, mysterious stars. That will be the night of the big electric storm and cloudburst.” 


(The Saturday Evening Post, September 5, 1953, p. 3)

Explore related art collections: Saturday Evening Post Covers / Children / Humor / $50,000 - $100,000

See all original artwork by Amos Sewell


Amos Sewell had a special empathy for children and also particularly enjoyed depicting homespun, rural subjects. These special gifts were ideally combined in the illustrations he made for a series of stories about Babe, Little Joe, Big Joe, and Uncle Pete by R. Ross Annett that ran for over twenty years in The Saturday Evening Post.

Sewell was born in San Francisco and studied nights at the California School of Fine Arts, working days in a bank. After some years of this, he decided to try his luck as an illustrator in the East. To get there, he shipped out as a working hand on a lumber boat going by way of the Panama Canal.

In New York, he studied at the Art Students League and at the Grand Central School of Art. Among his teachers were Guy Pene DuBois, Julian Levi and Harvey Dunn. At the same time, he began to draw black and white dry-brush illustrations for the Pulp magazines.

He illustrated his first major manuscript for The Country Gentleman in 1937; next came The Saturday Evening Post, for which he subsequently also painted many covers. This led to commissions from other national magazines. Sewell also illustrated for many major advertisers, and his work won awards from the Art Directors Clubs of New York and Cleveland, were exhibited at the Society of Illustrators, and included in traveling exhibits both here and abroad.