Andrew Belonsky

JC Leyendecker, I Love You and Your Work

Filed By Andrew Belonsky | November 12, 2010 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Gay Icons and History
Tags: gay advertising, gay art, JC Leyendecker, JC Leyendecker Art

Yesterday I celebrated beefcakes like Ricardo Montalban.JCLeyendeckerT.jpg

Today, I'd like to turn the clock back a bit further to shower some praise on famed advertising artist JC Leyendecker's breathtaking illustrations.

Anyone who's familiar with my work knows I have a slight obsession with Leyendecker, the German-born gay artist whose work helped fuel this nation's advertising world in the early 20th century.

In addition to creating the iconic advertising mascot "The Arrow Collar Man," Leyendecker's work also quite frequently appeared on covers of popular magazines, like Collier's and The Saturday Evening Post.

Here's a small selection of some of Leyendecker's most alluring pieces.

For being nearly 100 years old, these images deserve respect for their timeless sex appeal.


Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.

Andrew, thanks for sharing your passion for this historic and trend-setting gay artist. There is still so much out there that needs to be recognized and written about, especially for the benefit of young people. Every month of the year should be LGBT History Month

Paul in Canada | November 12, 2010 1:55 PM

Definitely before his time!

Wow was I ever surprised to see a article about J.C. Leyendecker on Bilerico! Lyndecker is one of my favourite artists too. An interesting factoid is that Norman Rockwell who replaced Leyendecker as the most popular cover artist for Saturday Evening Post was very close friends with Leyendecker and Rockwell credited him as one of his artistic influences. J.C. Leyendecker didn't just paint hot guys either his women were rather easy to look at too but his most enduring image is the New Year Baby.

Regan DuCasse | November 12, 2010 4:44 PM

I have the coffee table book about him and his work. His life companion was his most popular model too. And the book doesn't exactly shy away from what that relationship really was.

I personally love his artistic style. The distinct, bold and precision brushwork give a lot of movement to his figures.
Gorgeous in that context and the portrayal of the models.

I also love how he did a lot of illustrations for the Boy Scouts of America, creating much of the iconography for that organization. How soon they forget. :-(

Thanks, Andrew - JCL was extraordinary. The Lit Dig cover is something else - nipples and a navel! But I guess the laureled cap made that dude 'classical,' hence safe.

Check out The Haggin Museum in Stockton, California.
It might seem an unlikely place to find the best collection of Leyendecker’s work. I live in nearby Sacramento and every time I was at the Haggin I would urge them to bring this fabulous collection out of the basement. It is on display thru Dec. but even the online is beautifully done.

He wasn't terribly bad looking himself!