Thursday, April 25, 2019

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Perry Barlow 1932 - 1961

I'm away from my studio today, but never fear. Here is Dick Buchanan with a bio and twenty little-seen examples of cartoonist Perry Barlow's single panels. Thanks, Dick, for all of your research and hard work. Wow!


Cartoons (1932 – 1961)

Above: a self portrait titled “Funny-Business Men” from Collier’s April 26, 1941.

Perry Barlow was one of The New Yorker’s most prolific contributors. He published 1,574 drawings from 1926 to 1974. He also created 135 covers, the Dec. 23, 1939 cover being the best remembered. It portrays a mother holding a little girl whose eyes bug out as she watches her mother kiss her husband dressed as Santa. This was the only copy of the New Yorker that sold out on the newsstands. Jimmy Boyd, the song writer who wrote “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” in 1952, once revealed that Barlow’s cover was the inspiration for the song.

Mr. Barlow, was born on his family's farm in McKinney, Texas, near Dallas. He attended the Art Institute of Chicago with future New Yorker cartoonists Helen Hokinson and Garrett Price, and with Miss Dorothy Hope Smith, whom he married. Miss Smith became a celebrated portraitist of children. Her drawing of a baby became the Gerber baby‐food trademark.

Barlow came to New York in 1919 and sold some illustrations to the Judge and Life magazines. Subsequently, his work would appear in The Saturday Evening Post, Collier’s and Look, in addition to The New Yorker. His first New Yorker drawing was published June 3, 1926. Mr. Barlow, partly colorblind, depended on his wife to color in his drawings.

New Yorker cartoonist and editor Lee Lorenz, said of Mr. Barlow: “his drawings were deceptively casual, brought a gentle urbanity to our pages and helped establish the tone of the fledgling magazine . . . He had a marvelous eye for the telling gesture, and, although he returned to certain favorite situations again and again, he never repeated a face.”

These cartoons are a few of the many fine drawings Perry Barlow contributed to Collier’s, The Saturday Evening Post, Look and Life.

1. PERRY BARLOW. Life January, 1932.

" ... Sunday school is in twenty minutes, Sonny?"
"Listen to that girl! Sunday school in twenny minutes -- an' me down in the middle of the ocean!"

2. PERRY BARLOW. Life January, 1935.

3. PERRY BARLOW. Life September, 1935.

4. PERRY BARLOW. Collier’s June 12, 1937.

5. PERRY BARLOW. Collier’s May 20, 1938.

6. PERRY BARLOW. Collier’s April 26, 1941.

7. PERRY BARLOW. Collier’s July 19, 1941.

8. PERRY BARLOW. Collier’s October 20, 1945.

9. PERRY BARLOW. Collier’s October 19, 1946.

10. PERRY BARLOW. Collier’s June 5, 1948.

11. PERRY BARLOW. Collier’s February 26, 1949.

12. PERRY BARLOW. The Saturday Evening Post January, 22, 1952.

13. PERRY BARLOW. The Saturday Evening Post September 17, 1953.

14. PERRY BARLOW. Collier’s March 28, 1953.

15. PERRY BARLOW. Collier’s July 18, 1953.

16. PERRY BARLOW. Look February 17, 1959.

17. PERRY BARLOW. The Saturday Evening Post circa 1957-59.

18. PERRY BARLOW. Look circa 1958-59

19. PERRY BARLOW. Look May 23, 1961.

20. PERRY BARLOW. Collier’s January 21, 1955. 

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