"Water Fight, Saturday Evening Post Cover"   Lot no. 4118

Add to Want List

By Thornton Utz 1914-1999

23.375" x 18.25"
Gouache on Board
Signed Lower Left



Click any of the images above for additional views.

Cover for The Saturday Evening Post, June 30, 1951


The Post wrote the following commentary on the cover artwork: "If one of these kids had to apply water gently to his face with a washcloth, that would be hard work, a painful experience. But blast him in the face with a garden hose, and that is play, that is joy. It reminds us of these children's fathers, who on Friday get mad about having to stand up while riding in a trolley car, and on Saturday joyfully stagger five miles over small mountains in blistering heat and drenching storms--on a golf course. Speaking of heat, we phoned Painter Thornton Utz in Connecticut one day recently when the termometer was ninety-two in the colder shadows, and found that he was in Florida on business. We checked the subtropical weather report, worrying about how hot he must be. Miami was nice and cool." (The Saturday Evening Post, June 30, 1951, p. 3)

Explore related art collections: Magazine Covers / Saturday Evening Post Covers / Humor / $100,000 & Above / Beach/Summer / Children / Newly Researched

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.