“The Saturday Evening Post” magazine is a very good example of the state of American magazine illustration in the 20th century. When most people think of the Post, they probably only go so far as the sentimentality of the Norman Rockwell covers. In fact, their interior stories offered a wide range of themes from romance, to action and adventure. Some well known characters started there, like Earle Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason, and movies were made from it’s stories, such as “The Sand Pebbles” or “The Guns of Navarone.”
As with Rockwell, they used many of the top American illustrators, and their art was of the highest caliber; Coby Whitmore, Stan Galli, and Lynn Buckham to name a few.
I’ve been slowly digging through a massive collection of the magazine, starting in the mid 70’s, and have to gotten to the mid 50’s with a couple more decades to go.
Sadly the magazine, still in production, is a poor shadow of it’s former self, as far as illustration is concerned. Very little illustration art has been used since the 70’s, and there has been a drop in quality. Their theme now is mostly nostalgia.