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This color illustration graced the front cover of The Saturday Evening Post on March 19, 1910. It depicts a stern teacher, switch in hand, looking over the shoulder of a mischievous boy who has drawn a caricature of him on a slate.
The boy bears a strong resemblance to “Alfred E. Neuman,” the fictitious mascot and cover boy of the American humor magazine Mad since 1954. The character's distinct face, with his parted red hair, gap-tooth smile, and freckles, first emerged in U.S. iconography decades prior to his association with the magazine, appearing in late 19th and early 20th Century advertisements.
American artist James Ellsworth “Worth” Brehm (1883-1928) attended the Herron Institute of Art in Indianapolis. He was a prominent illustrator for many magazines. He was also commissioned by Harper’s to illustrate The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Worth usually worked in charcoal. He regularly used the neighboring children for his characters, sometimes dressing them in period clothing.
Saturday Evening Post
Curtis Publishing Company
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
overall: 13 3/4 in x 10 1/2 in; 34.925 cm x 26.67 cm
Gift of Dr. Richard Lodish American School Collection