"Walking the Tightrope, Saturday Evening Post Cover"   Lot no. 4295

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By Stevan Dohanos (American- 1907-1994)

39.00" x 30.00"
Oil on Canvas
Signed Lower Left



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This work was featured on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post, June 11, 1949

The Post described the cover as follows: "Having found the setting he wanted for his circus-theme cover painting- on the Brotherton farm near Westport, Connecticut- Stevan Dohanos began rigging up a beam for the farm boy to do his tightwire act on. While working, he noticed a hen hanging around...when he returned three days later with a borrowed farm boy to pose for him- Sandy Frey of Westport- he found that two fresh eggs had been deposited in the hayloft at one end of the beam. Dohanos deposited the eggs gently in his picture, reasoning that the hen...wanted to get on the cover of the Post, but was too bashful to pose, and had done it with eggs."

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 Stevan Dohanos made his mark as a nationally famous cover artist for The Saturday Evening Post and chronicler of Americana, but he began at the bottom.

   He studied nights at the Cleveland School of Art long enough to get a job as an apprentice letterer, and gradually developed a solid studio background. A hard worker, he simultaneously painted and printed woodcuts for national exhibitions.

   In 1936, he painted an assignment for the Treasury Art Project in the Virgin Islands, and later, various mural commissions for federal buildings in Elkins, West Virginia; West Palm Beach, Florida; and Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands. His pictures are in the collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Avery Memorial of Hartford, and the New Britain Museum of American Art.

   His illustrations have appeared in almost all of the major magazines; he painted over 100 covers for The Saturday Evening Post. Twice a victim of tuberculosis himself, Dohanos contributed Christmas seal designs to the National Tuberculosis Association, and made many posters and designs for national and local charitable purposes. He designed well over forty stamps for the U.S. Postal Service, and for several years he served on the Citizen Stamp Advisory Committee for the Postmaster General and as its Design Coordinator.

    Dohanos was a member of the National Society of Mural Painters, the Artists and Writers club, the Dutch Treat Club. He served as President of the Society of Illustrators from 1961-63, was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 1971, and served as Honorary President from 1982 until his death.