""For Their Sakes - Work Together," Poster Maquette, NCCJ"   Lot no. 4431

Add to Want List

By Neysa McMein (American 1888-1949)

39.00" x 27.50"
Oil on Canvas
Signed "McMein" Lower Right



Click the image above for an additional view.

"For Their Sakes - Work Together." Poster maquette for the National Conference of Christians and Jews, Brotherhood Week. The artwork is in a decorative wood frame. 

Born Marjorie McMein, the artist changed her name to "Neysa" after moving to New York City to pursue a brief acting career. She studied at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago and at the Art Students League. After selling her first drawing to the Boston Star, McMein began illustrating covers for The Saturday Evening Post in 1915 where her covers featuring glamorous and fashionable young women quickly gained popularity and brought her many more commissions for the leading magazines of the day, including Collier's, McClure's, Liberty, and Woman's Home Companion. During World War I, McMein was commissioned to create propaganda posters for the governments of the United States and France, as well as to design fundraising posters for the Red Cross and YMCA. From 1923 to 1937, she produced all the covers for McCall's. She also created advertisements for leading brands like Lucky Strike, Palmolive, and Betty Crocker, for which she produced a portrait of the fictional home baker. When magazines began reducing costs by replacing expensive commissioned illustrations with the cheaper medium of photography, McMein pivoted from her commercial career and primarily painted commissioned portraits.

McMein was an ardent supporter of women's suffrage and was known to be fiercely independent with an active social life, which sometimes pushed the boundaries of propriety. She was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 1984, 35 years after her death.

Explore related art collections: Women Artists / Poster Illustrations / Patriotic/Political / Children / Family

See all original artwork by Neysa McMein



Neysa Moran McMein – later Mrs. John Baragwanath – wanted, as a girl in Quincy, Illinois, to be a musician. Although she changed her mind and attended the Art Institute of Chicago, she paid her way through school by writing music and playing piano in a ten-cent store.

   During World War I, she went to France under the auspices of the YMCA, and entertained the troops with her singing and piano accompaniment to showings of Winsor McCay’s animated film “Gertie the Dinosaur”.

   She painted her first McCall’s magazine cover in 1923, and for many years made pastel portraits of beautiful or notable young women for McCall’s monthly issues, as well as occasional covers for the Woman’s Home Companion, McClure’s, Photoplay, and The Saturday Evening Post. She also regularly contributed her drawings to the annual New York Times’ Hundred Neediest Cases.

   McMein was equally noted as a hostess and friend of such notables as Alexander Woollcott, Irving Berlin, Marc Connolly, Ben Lillie, Irene Castle, Richard Rogers, Dorothy Parker, Jascha Heifetz and George Abbott, who visited at her studio or home. As young models, Kay Francis and Frederic March posed for her. Her biography, Anything Goes by Brian Gallagher, tells the full story of that heady period.

   Eventually, she turned to privately commissioned portraiture and painted many of the country’s prominent women. The Whitney Museum of American Art has established a memorial fund in her honor, which is used to purchase work by living American Artists. She was elected into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 1984.