Vintage Good Housekeeping Covers 1920s

by bev-owens

A nostalgic look at the vintage magazine covers of Good Housekeeping from the decade of the 1920s.

Collecting Vintage Good Housekeeping Cover Art

From the 1920s decade

My speciality in the antiques industry is ephemera which includes old magazines and the vintage covers that adorned these old magazines. I am a huge fan of the old Good Housekeeping covers especially the covers from the 1920s decade.

Many of the covers from these early magazines were illustrated by the artist Jessie Wilcox Smith who is admired and collected by many lovers of vintage art.

The image to the right is an example of the cover designed for Good Housekeeping for the March 1920 issue by Jessie Wilcox Smith. I love the subject matter with a child and her kitten!

Most of the art that Smith did had children and their activities as the subject of her paintings.

Good Housekeeping Cover March 1920

Jessie Wilcox Smith Art
Good Houskeeping

Jessie Wilcox Smith GH Cover From 1924

I think that one of the reasons people collect the Jessie Wilcox Smith covers from the old Good Housekeeping magazines is her attention to detail and the child themes that she created.

The image at the right shows the August 1924 cover where Smith shows two children playing in the August sun, they appear to be having a tea party with childrens dishes on a blanket in the grass. The older child serving up some delectible treat to the younger child. Perhaps it is a picnic and not a tea party. Whatever her intent, we can delight in the playtime of two young children on a summer day back in 1924. You can almost feel the innocence, can't you?

If finding an original cover is alluding you, there is always the option of purchasing a reprint in a variety of sizes to fit your wall space.

Wouldn't this be adorable in a little girl's room?

Good Housekeeping Cover August 1924

Childrens Tea Party
Good Housekeeping, August, 1924

Good Housekeeping Cover March 1925

Grandmother Reads To Child

The artist for the March 1925 Good Housekeeping cover was again, Jessie Wilcox Smith. This cover isn't as colorful as some of her artwork but I love it just the same.

The subject matter is what touches my heart with this collectible magazine art. A grandmother reading to a child is a pleasant memory of my Grandmother reading to me and also something that I do with my own grandchildren.

You can get a reprint of this vintage GH cover in a variety of sizes in print form or Giclee.

Some Good Housekeeping Covers Are Cross-Over Collectibles

Some of the Good Housekeeping covers from the 1920s are what is called a cross-over collectible. Obviously collectors of magazine covers love them and collectors of Jessie Wilcox Smith art love them. In the case of the cover that graced the March 1926 issue of Good Housekeeping seamstresses love it too. How perfect this print of a young girl sewing would be in a sewing room or with a collection of sewing memorabilia and antiques.

That is what I mean by a cross-over collectible. The appeal of the piece crosses over into other areas of collecting.

A First Kiss

Good Housekeeping Cover From June 1926

Jessie Wilcox Smith illustrated the June 1926 issue of Good Housekeeping, too. Actually her career of creating the art for the magazine spanned some 15 years in all.

I love the image at the left that shows what looks to be a first kiss of a young boy and girl. Looks like he gave her some flowers too.

Even the colors of this magazine cover go with popular decorating colors of today. I can see this print in a child's room or even in a master bedroom. It is sweet and romantic all at once.

Good Housekeeping Cover September 1926

Mother reading to child

For the cover of the September 1926 issue of Good Housekeeping, Jessie Wilcox Smith shows a lovely scene of a mother reading to a child in the summer grass.

In the years that I have sold the vintage magazine covers to clients, this GH cover has been the favorite for Mothers but also Teachers and especially Librarians or Media Specialists. There is a real appeal to those of us who not only enjoy reading for our own pleasure but that also enjoy installing the love of reading in the children of our lives.

This particular cover from September 1926 is one of my own favorites because it reminds me of the days that I read to my daughters on a lovely fall day. The joy we had with the story and from being outdoors together in the warm sunshine.

Vintage Good Housekeeping Magazine Cover

March 1927

Don't you just love this vintage cover from Good Housekeeping published for the March 1927 issue? Another cover illustrated by Jessie Wilcox Smith that is a favorite by many collectors.

The adorable little boy talking on the telephone is loved by both Mothers of boys and by collectors of telephones. Smith illustrated what is known as a "candlestick" phone which was rather a new concept at the time she did her artwork. Previous to that most telephones where in an oak box that mounted on the wall.

Magazine Cover From May 1927

Garden Theme For Good Housekeeping

Another one of my favorite vintage Good Housekeeping covers from the 1920s decade is the one done for the May 1927 issue by Jessie Wilcox Smith.

I love the Mother and child working together with gardening work! Growing indoor and outdoor plants is another passion of mine so you can see why this cover appeals to me and many other gardening enthusiasts.

I have this cover hanging in my Sun Room where many of my houseplants help to decorate the room. It just seemed to fit both my room and my love of plants.

Girl Eating A Watermelon Slice

Good Housekeeping Cover From September 1927

The magazine cover for the Good Housekeeping issue for September 1927 just brings a smile to my face and a warmth in my heart.

Jessie Wilcox Smith illustrated this cover, too. It brings back fond memories of my Grandfather who used to celebrate summer every year by bringing home a watermelon for all of us to enjoy. Oh the memories of watching him slice the melon and then sitting on the front porch together enjoying the sweetness of the fruit. It was also a time for bonding with him. He would tell the most outrageous stories while we sat there together.

Rounding Out The Good Housekeeping Covers From The 1920s Decade

October 1928

I think the October 1928 issue for Good Housekeeping magazine brings a smile to the faces of many. The young boy in a classroom evokes memories of school days and is loved by many Teachers of young children.

Many of my male customers enjoy this particular cover, too. Some say the boy would rather be out playing in the autumn sunshine while others say the boy is engrossed in the lesson of either history or geography.

I wonder if the artist, Jessie Wilcox Smith, did that on purpose. She created a look on the child that can be interpreted either way.

Illustrations Used On Old Magazine Covers Tell A Story

One of the reasons I began collecting and then selling these old magazine covers is the story each cover seems to tell. I love the illustrations that capture my imagination or bring a fond memory to mind.

Many of the Good Housekeeping Cover from the 1920s decade do just that for me even though they were created some 30 years before I was born. I can see why Jessie Wilcox Smith was hired over and over again to do the cover art by Hearst Publishing, she had a gift for telling a story in one picture that appealed to the masses.

Updated: 01/30/2015, bev-owens
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Sue on 08/19/2012

Just adorable. I have three original covers, framed and on the wall. They are from 1937 and 1938 by Gafron. I just love them.

MugTreasuresByBrenda on 07/08/2011

How can you help but love these covers? Great job.

kimbesa on 06/12/2011

Classic showcase of wonderful illustrations...thanks!

sheilamarie on 06/04/2011

These covers are so cute! Jesse Wilcox Smith sure loved her subject matter. Her art shows the love.

PeggyHazelwood on 06/04/2011

I love Jessie Wilcox Smith's illustrations. Beautiful!!

cosmopinkice on 06/01/2011

These are so adorable. I'd love to have some framed in my home.

thelesleyshow on 05/30/2011

What a beautifully laid out wizz article. I aspire to make mine look this good Bev.

SquidRich on 05/29/2011

These magazine covers certainly reflect a simpler time. Such an "innocence" about them.

Susan52 on 05/28/2011

I absolutely love the 1920s art. These are beautiful magazine covers!

petunia on 05/28/2011

Just beautiful - it just seems that there was more pride in our work and our lives in those days, doesn't it? Maybe 100 years from now, folks will think the covers of 2011 are genuine and real. But to me, the artwork on these covers speaks of a simpler way of life and family values. Perfectly lovely!

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