When illustrator, Stevan Dohanos, visited his local firehouse in Westport, Connecticut, to get a permit to burn brush, he met “Patch,” a Dalmatian, and got an idea for a cover for the Saturday Evening Post, a bimonthly American magazine that was one of the most widely circulated and influential magazines. The dog that Dohanos painting for the 1945 cover was a pretty female from Long Island complete with her pups.
Can you imagine the reaction if this cover were to be published today? Quelle horreur! the pet overpopulation adherents would cry.
An artist of the social realism school, Ohio native, Stevan Dohanos, was one of the best at portraying 1950s Americana, and the Dalmatian image wasn’t the only time he included a dog in a Post cover:
As masters of picking the wrong line in a bank or grocery store, we have a special understanding for the image above (we would be in the last car), but we like that the Old English Sheepdog in the back seat is chill (though not crated! It was a different time…)
By the 1960s, photographs were replacing art for the covers of the Post. After having depicted everyday life in the 123 covers he created for the Post, Dohanos switched gears and took his talent to the National Stamp Advisory Committee. He was quoted as saying, “Artists are always interested in seeing their work reproduced. Imagine seeing your work reproduced 4½ billion times.” As Chairman of the stamp committee, he oversaw the art design for over 300 stamps, and his depictions included presidential portraits, NATO commemorative stamps from 1959, and the 1967 John F. Kennedy commemorative stamp.
Fittingly, this artist with an eye for American life died on the 4th of July in 1994 at the age of 87.