Edward Penfield Harper’s Magazine Poster August 1895 P842

The New Woman, in her daring bathing costume, one hand wisely on the safety rope. These posters for Harper’s Magazine were the last word in modernity, echoing the work that was being done in France by Toulouse Lautrec and Mucha, and in Vienna by the artists of the Secession.

Edward Penfield was born June 2, 1866 in Brooklyn, New York to Ellen Lock Moore and Josiah B. Penfield. He first studied at New York’s Art Students League. He worked under George de Forest Brush, who was known for his romantic scenes of American Indian life. He first worked for Harper’s Weekly and later became art director. He developed his own unique style of simplified figures with bold outlines in settings free of extraneous detail. He wrote and published a book titled Holland Sketches, which was published by Scribner’s in 1907.

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