"McCalls Magazine Cover"   Lot no. 568

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By Neysa McMein (American 1888-1949)

31.75" x 23.75"
Pastel on Board
Signed Lower Left



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June 1925 cover of McCalls Magazine

'To the Girls of St. Agnes Seminary'

Explore related art collections: Magazine Covers / Portraits / Women as Subjects / 1920s / Fashion / Beach/Summer / $5,000 - $20,000 / Newly Researched / Women Artists

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.