J. C. Leyendecker Arrow Collar advertisement (1918): beautifully framed reproduction


Advertisement: Arrow Collars and Shirts for Dress    
   By J. C. Leyendecker
   For Cluett, Peabody & Co. 1918
   Giclee reproduction on canvas


    Image Size: H 16.25” x W 10.50”
    Matted & Framed:  H 22.25” x W 16.50”
    Framed Price: $210.00  
    Whiteglove packaging and shipping approximately $25.00

“Joe” Leyendecker received his first magazine cover commission shortly after he opened his studio in New York in 1899. The piece was requested by the Curtis Publishing Company of Philadelphia, which owned The Saturday Evening Post. JL's illustration work appeared on the cover of The Post's May 1899 issue. Over the next forty-four years, JL produced nearly 400 more magazine covers, including 321 for The Post.

In 1901, JL was approached by a handsome Canadian teenager named Charles Beach. Beach was, it seems, seeking work as a model. Needing one, Joe gave him a job. Four years later, when Cluett, Peabody & Company of Troy, New York selected JL to create illustrations for an ad campaign to promote its shirts and collars. JL began transforming handsome Charles Beach, dressed in stylish Cluett shirts and Arrow collars, into the paradigm of the well-dressed American male. The ads, which featured Beach looking sharp and commanding in places where the best people gathered, created a fashion sensation. The god-like “Arrow Collar Man” reportedly received baskets of mail including several proposals of marriage. No marriage was forthcoming, however, because Joe and Charles were by then an item.

When this ad appeared in 1918, the Great War had been raging for four ghastly years in Europe and “our boys” were “over there” bringing it to an end. None of this affected JL’s artistic style or subject matter. Beach was as handsome as ever, and as the troops mustered out after the cease-fire was declared on 11 November, they turned again to the business of America, which was becoming rich and pursuing happiness. JL and CD joined the party, which continued until 29 October 1929, Black Tuesday.

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