Charles A. MacLellan

Sometimes I just don't find anything. Put a name into a search and nothing much shows up. So okay, this is going to save me time. I'll just post this image to share and move on with what's left of my day and the real work I need to be doing.

Delineator cover_Feb.1915_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

The cover is self-explanatory. Delineator, February 1915. I thought it appropriate for all the kids who stayed home today because of a snow day. It also reminds me of the scene in A Christmas Story when Ralphie beats up the neighborhood bully.

I'm not finding biographical information about the artist, Charles Archibald MacLellan, other than he was born in 1885 in Trenton, Ontario, Canada. He lived in Delaware and was known for doing illustrations of children. His teacher was Howard Pyle. He exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and was apparently a student at the Brandywine School and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is known for his cover illustrations for the Saturday Evening Post and he worked in oil paints. That's it folks. No death notice, but I'm figuring we can gather from his date of birth he's no longer here. If I ever find anything else I'll update this post.

To see examples of his Post covers click here and here.

That's it for today's Tattered and lost Ephemera break.

On November 30, 2010 I received the following biographical information about Charles A. MacLellan from his niece:
Uncle Charlie lived in a studio apartment in Wilmington, DE for many years. I believe it is now headquarters for some sort of an artists' group. Perhaps the address is 1305 Franklin Street. About 15 years ago I sent the artists' group a post card (or letter) from Howard Pyle indicating agreement to rent the place to Uncle Charlie.

Uncle Charlie died in October 1961 and a service was held at a local Presbyterian Church. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered by several ladies in the artists' organization.

My two sisters and I were his heirs. My mother, Marjorie MacLellan Dawson, was executor of his will.

He was a very, very funny man - very proper and irreverent at the same time.
Thank you! I love finding out more about the man who did this wonderful painting.

UPDATE: on August 27, 2011 I received the following information in a comment from Ian Schoenherr said...
You can see some c.1911 photos of MacLellan taken in Howard Pyle’s studio in the Olive Rush Papers at the Archives of American Art. 

He appears in photos 17 (on the left), 19 (on the right), and 20 (on the left).
Thank you Ian!


  1. I love old magazine covers! And especially the ones in the 20's. I find myself drawn to that era - could be because I was born in 28. I enjoy your blogs so much. Carol

  2. Thank you Carol. It means a lot to me to hear people enjoy this. It's my little corner of the universe where I tap dance as fast as I can in hope that someone enjoys the show.

  3. I'm glad that the lack of information on the artist didn't keep you from posting. It's wonderful. Blogs like yours are really the best meeting of the old and the new (ephemera and technology.)

    I know what you mean about the tap dance. Sometimes I will go to great efforts to research one little postcard and then there are no comments at all. My devoted spouse occasionally expresses concern. You just have to know that every person who comments represents at least a dozen people who were inspired but silent.

  4. Actually it's okay if I don't get comments. As I've said before, I do both blogs for my best friend. I've been tap dancing for her since I was 7. She's always been my audience. Having others in on our fun has always been something that brought us joy.

  5. and there I thought you were doing it for me!!!

    What a nasty little boy putting snow down the other lad's neck, I hope that little girl is going to tell on him. Great illustration though.

  6. Well actually I'm doing it for world peace and ummmm...to end starvation and oh yeah, cure cancer. Now onto the swimsuit competition.

  7. No tap dance required for me. I did a bit of digging, and his art is sought after. He was a student of Howard Pyle.

  8. Thank goodness because these old legs are gettin' tired!

    I did read that he also did a portrait for the du Pont family. Couldn't find any example of it.

    I just wonder how much of his work got thrown away like so much of illustration from the past.

  9. Diana Denny6/07/2010

    Charles A. MacLellan did over fifty great covers for The Saturday Evening Post from 1912 to 1936. I am preparing a segment regarding MacLellan for the Post website but cannot find any biographical info on this artist. Any info would we welcome. We'll be showing some of his Post covers in the piece.

  10. Diane, I wish I could help, but all I found is what I posted and I believe that was from askart.com. There simply wasn't any information. You might want to write Leif Peng at http://todaysinspiration.blogspot.com/ to see if he knows anything. His blog about illustrators contains a lot of information and he might know someone who knows someone.

  11. Anonymous11/30/2010

    Charles A MacLellan was my great uncle. Ask me what you like.


  12. Melrose,

    I'd love to hear any biographical information you're willing to share. You can see even someone from the Saturday Evening Post was asking me if I had anything.

    Anything you'd be willing to share would be greatly appreciated and would become part of the post.

  13. There is a book entitled "A Small School of Art, The Students of Howard Pyle" which contains a nice biography of Charles Archibald MacLellan. I, very fortunately, own the original painting he did for the April 1920 Everybody's Magazine. It is a young boy and his dog. It is a Wilmington, Delaware setting. It shows a Pyle influence along with subject matter influenced by John George Brown, who apparently was with him in Chicago. If anyone knows additional facts about his work, I am interested. Thank you

  14. Anonymous4/20/2011

    I have a original piece of his that I may be looking to sell. Any suggestions?

  15. Sorry, can't be of help. You might contact Leif Ping at Today's Inspiration:


  16. You can see some c.1911 photos of MacLellan taken in Howard Pyle’s studio in the Olive Rush Papers at the Archives of American Art:


    He appears in photos 17 (on the left), 19 (on the right), and 20 (on the left).

  17. Thanks Ian. I appreciate you sending this along. I'll add this directly to the post.

  18. Also of interest is an article on MacLellan in The Sunday Morning Star (of Wilmington, Delaware) for July 17, 1910.


    I have a blog devoted to Howard Pyle, so I try to keep track of all these things...


  19. Thank you for the links. Hopefully others will find this post and it will lead them to your site.