Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Captain Blood

Mead Blackbuck

Captain Pinken

The Count of Monte Cristo

Mead Schaeffer was born in 1898 in Freedom Plains, New York. He's of the same generation as Saul Tepper, Boris Artzybasheff, Rico Tomaso, Haddon Sundblom, Donald Teague, Floyd Davis, Edwin Georgi and Norman Rockwell - a generation that was to explode into the pages of the nation's illustrated magazines in the 1930's through the 1950's. Schaeffer attended the Pratt Institute in New York City and after his graduation in 1920 he took further studies with Harvey Dunn and Dean Cornwell. He very quickly got work in the waning issues of the smaller, traditional magazines.
(By Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr. - JVJ PUBLISHING at

The followings are images from Moby Dick by Herman Melville,
Published by Dodd, Mead & Co ~ 1923:

Moby Dick


I will soon be out

Townho story
All images from

1922 was the same year he began doing book illustrations. Just as Scribner's had their classics with mostly Wyeth illustrations, Dodd-Mead began a similar series with Schaeffer doing the majority of the titles. Quite an honor for a 24-year-old. His earliest books were Herman Melville titles: Moby Dick (1922), Typee (1923) and Omoo (1924). He also did a pair of Rand McNally titles in their adventure/classic series in 1924: Adventures of Remi and King Arthur and His Knights. These early efforts represent the first of three very distinct stylistic approaches of his career.
(By Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr. - JVJ PUBLISHING at

Ladies Home Journal 1931

The followings are images from The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas,
Published by Dodd, Mead & Co ~ 1929:


Drew his Rapier

Threw the Dice

Received Instructions

Felton bowed his head
All images from

Paratrooper Periscope

Tank Patrol
Images from

In 1930, Schaeffer turned his attention from fictional characters to real people depicted in real settings. During the 1930s and 1940s he received commissions from magazines including Good Housekeeping , McCall's, the Saturday Evening Post, The Ladies Home Journal, Country Gentleman, and Cosmopolitan. He produced 46 covers for the weekly Saturday Evening Post. His work as a war correspondent for the Post during World War II resulted in a well-known series of covers illustrating American military personnel. He lived for a time in New Rochelle, New York, but for most of his career lived in Arlington, Vermont, where his studio was in a barn. Norman Rockwell was a good friend, and Schaeffer and his family often posed as models for Rockwell's Saturday Evening Post illustrations and paintings.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Forbidden Lover
The Ladies Home Journal July 1932

Schaeffer abandoned the romantic adventure milieu in favor of more realistic subject matter. According to a quote in Susan E. Meyer's 1981 book, Norman Rockwell's People, "I suddenly realized I was sick of it all - sick of painting dudes and dandies. I longed to do honest work, based on real places, real people and real things." Which sounds all well and good, but he had always gone to great lengths to put realism into his paintings, often traveling to exotic locales so as to get the images right for a book or story. All of the people, places and things he'd been painting were very "real." Maybe it was Rockwell that influenced him, but World War II may have changed his perspective, also.
(By Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr. - JVJ PUBLISHING at

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