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September 8, 1928 Original Life Magazine Cover "Gluttons for Punishment" artist Russell Patterson (458)

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"Gluttons for Punishment" - 000458

This is an original cover from the first LIFE magazine, circa 1883-1936, shown against a black background so that the imperfections are more distinct. Please inspect the image carefully so you won't be disappointed, and email me if you'd like close-up photos or other information.

You can find a more concise and adequate description of the publication on magazineart.org, which shows samples of the covers from practically every issue. Other websites offer originals for sale and I encourage you to seek these out if you’re comparison shopping.

LIFE was a weekly publication measuring 9” x 11” and featured art produced by the likes of Charles Dana Gibson (creator of the Gibson Girl), Norman Rockwell (who produced 28 covers), Coles Phillips (the fadeaway technique), John Montgomery Flagg, Charles Schultz (of Peanuts fame, and where he got his start), John Held Jr., Robert Ripley, and scads more. Artists of other genre contributed, such as Dorothy Parker, Franklin Pierce Adams, Theodor Seuss Geisel, Robert E. Sherwood, and Robert Benchley.

Russell Patterson (December 26, 1893 – March 17, 1977) was a celebrated and prolific American cartoonist, illustrator and scenic designer. Patterson’s art deco magazine illustrations helped promote the idea of the 1920s and 1930s fashion style known as the flapper.

Patterson was born in Omaha, Nebraska. Although he claimed he knew at age 17 that he wanted to be a magazine cover artist, he took a circuitous route to his ultimate success in that field. His family left his hometown of Omaha and settled in Montreal when he was still a boy. He studied architecture briefly at college, then became an undistinguished cartoonist for some newspapers in Montreal, contributing Pierre et Pierrette to La Patrie. Rejected by the Canadian army at the start of World War I, he moved to Chicago to become a catalog illustrator.

In 1925 Patterson found his direction. He put aside his fine arts ambitions and turned his talents toward illustration. Drawing on his experience sketching beautiful women in Paris, he began adorning covers and interiors for magazines like College Humor and Judge, and later Life and Ballyhoo with his vivacious flappers. Within a couple of years, Russell Patterson the illustrator went from obscurity to celebrity, at a time when the leading graphic artists were as famous as movie stars. As his career blossomed, his ubiquitous version of the modern Jazz Age woman graced the covers and interior pages of The Saturday Evening Post, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Redbook and Photoplay, among many other magazines. As celebrated at that time as the "Gibson Girl" had been years before, his "Patterson Girl" was, in the words of Armando Mendez, "simultaneously brazen and innocent." Martha H. Kennedy cites Patterson's dependence on the "graphic power of elegant, outlined forms, linear patterns of clothing and trailing smoke to compose strongly decorative, eye-catching designs." Women of the time turned to Patterson's work to follow trends in clothing, jewelry and cosmetics.

Your print will be mailed in a sturdy cardboard mailer, perfectly flat, marked "do not bend", and has a money-back guarantee. If you're not satisfied with the item, please tell me what I can do to make it right. I'm not here to cheat or disappoint anyone, and communication is key in all respects.

P.S. If you are interested in fashion, we have thousands of fashion photos & illustrations, mostly from Vogue magazine 1900 through 1972, and Harper’s Bazaar 1940s. These include a grand mixture of styles, artists, designers, stores, cities, and every other possible variation you can think of. We list “fashion” separately from “beauty” which is where you’ll find cosmetics and perfumes.

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September 8, 1928 Original Life Magazine Cover "Gluttons for Punishment" artist Russell Patterson (458)


  • Vintage item from the 1920s
  • Material: paper
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 154 reviews
  • Favorited by: 10 people