"Bicycle Tricks, Post Cover"   Lot no. 4383

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By Thornton Utz 1914-1999

28" x 22"
Gouache on Board
Signed Lower Left



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Original cover illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, June 18, 1955


The Post described, “Through this community is sweeping Hurricane Harry, leaving in its path great mental devastation. Of course, Harry shouldn't go like the wind in heavy traffic: and, of course, those irate adults do the same with their automobiles—but that's different, for some reason or other. If Harry’s father, who taught him to ride by shoving him around the block thirty times, could see his skillful pupil now, how proud he would or perhaps would not be. Painter Utz can’t say whether Harry will reach home intact, but has given him a helmet, so that if he happens to crash his father in the front yard, the boy won’t be injured. That baby under the groceries is exclaiming, “Goo!” Meaning, “The more I see of people the less I understand them.””


(The Saturday Evening Post, June 18, 1955, p. 3)


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

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.