Meet J.C. Leyendecker, American illustrator
December 21, 2002 6:18 PM Subscribe
Meet J. C. Leyendecker, the Golden Boy of American Illustration. He helped codify the modern image of Santa Claus. His Baby New Year covers for the Saturday Evening Post invented a pop culture icon. He was "the most out front closeted gay man of the twentieth century" - a hugely popular artist whose work was often clearly homoerotic. The young Norman Rockwell used to stalk him and once said, "Leyendecker was my god." In 1905, he created advertising's first male sex symbol, the Arrow Shirt Man, which "defined the ideal American male" for decades, got more fan mail than Valentino and inspired a 1923 Broadway play. A detailed, opinionated biography and 14 pages of gorgeous Post covers.
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