Ellen Bernard Thompson Pyle—Artwork 1920s
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The Saturday Evening Post
In Ellen Pyle's first year of creating cover art for the iconic The Saturday Evening Post, six of her designs were published.
To see the rest of her SEP cover art from the 1920s (which is copyrighted by Curtis Publishing and can't be displayed here), please see the Curtis Publishing Web site.
November 23. In this cover, Ellen's youngest daughter, Caroline, was the model. The original painting and published cover are shown.
April 21 and December 29. Caroline Pyle was the model for the 4/21 issue.
July. Illustrated article, "Dolly Madison," by Harriette Wilbur. The painting is signed "Ellen Thompson."
This calendar was published by the Newboys of Detroit.
Children: A Magazine for Parents
November. This magazine was later retitled "Parents."
May (cover) and July. In the July issue, the artwork was a removable print on heavy stock.
Ellen Pyle did a few commissioned portraits in the 1920s. She did not continue portraiture into the 1930s, possibly because it wasn't as lucrative as illustration art, or possibly because her eldest daughter, also named Ellen, began studying art and concentrating on portraiture.
Left is Phoebe Pyle Brokaw, daughter of Howard Pyle. Right is William Ramsay Ferris, son of Elizabeth Ramsay Ferris and Van Wyck Ferris.
The portrait of Phoebe was exhibited February 2 - February 21, 1925 at the "Exhibition of Paintings by Delaware Artists, Member of the Society, and Pupils of Howard Pyle" under the auspices of the Wilmington Society of the Fine Arts (this group would later found the Delaware Art Museum). This portrait is held by a descendent of Phoebe Brokaw who lives in France.
The portrait of William Ferris was also exhibited in 1925, from November 11 - December 12 by the same group. A portrait of Mary Wooten Carpenter, wife of Walter S. Carpenter, Jr., was in the same exhibit. Attempts to contact the family for an image of the portrait have not been successful as yet.
1923 to 1928
Berta Ruck Dustjacket Art
From 1923 to 1928, Ellen Pyle created the dust jacket art for ten Berta Ruck books. In all but the first one, she used her daughters as models.
The last picture is of Mary Hunt's daughter. Mary Hunt was Ellen Pyle's housekeeper/cook for many years. Ellen Pyle could not get a publisher to purchase the painting. However, when she changed the race of the child, the scene was published (see 1928 above).
© 2007 Katharine E. Smith. All rights reserved.