Neysa McMein: your average chic, healthy American girl (lecture 3)

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Neysa McMein was an American illustrator who worked in magazine and advertising during 1920s/30s. Though she did some work before, her career really began to take off during World War I. During the war, she designed posters both for the US and France in support, even going to France to entertain military troops for six months. She was well-known not only for her talent, but also her bright and uncompromising personality, despite, perhaps, her difficult position as a female in this time period. To me this is very admirable.

McMein’s warm, pastel style, which often included a subject of a “chic, healthy American girl”, became very popular with the public and aided her in creating many successful pieces. Personally, I enjoy the softness of her style as well, and how she creates such true looking girls. They are beautiful of course, but by the way they’re portrayed they appear strong. McMein landed many front cover illustrations in Maclure’s, Saturday Evening Post, Liberty, Collier’s, and so on.

One of the thousand Y.M.C.A. girls in France, recruiting poster (1918)
Related image
Lady Aviator; August 11, 1917
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Lucky Strike, “I Do” (1917)
Neysa McMein,   Cover Illustration for  McCall's . June 1932.
Cover Illustration for McCall’s. June 1932.
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Cover Illustration for McClure’s. July 1917.

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