Friday, December 14, 2018

Barbara Shermund: Santa Pampered

In the January 1941 issue of Esquire, cartoonist Barbara Shermund reminds us that it's that time of year when everyone is eager to get on Santa Claus's good side.
Barbara Shermund
Esquire, January 1939, page 72

The composition is very busy, but it basically is arranged along the simple diagonal established by Santa's reclining body. The color scheme is dominated by red and white, as determined by Santa's well-known outfit. His excessively ruddy complexion seems intended to make his contented face the focal point of the drawing. Three pairs of hands are drawn with great expressivity and delicacy. The exception is the comparatively crude pair of hands of the shoeshine boy. He is presented as a racial stereotype of the sort commonly portrayed in various media of the period.

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