Okay, stick with me here because todays post actually relates back to several past posts. 

These illustrations, done by Frederic Mizen, are from the good ol' Saturday Evening Post from 1934 that I've been using for source material the past several days. Right off the bat the first thread to be pulled is the man in the chair who reminds me of the man in the chair in yesterday's Log Cabin Syrup post. 

Frederic Mizen 1.2_tatteredandlost

These illustrations are for a story entitled "These Geniuses!" by A. H. Z. Carr. I haven't read it. It has lines like:
 "How are you, Caldecott?" drawled Lord Anthony.
"Anthony, will you do something for me?"
"Father plans to announce our engagement at dinner."
"Yes. Certainly."
"I want him to wait until later--until midnight."
"But, Marion, my dear; it's not done. Really."
"Isn't it? I'd like it so much better that way, Anthony. Be a pie and arrange it for me."
Frederic Mizen_3_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

Okay, not my kind of story, but hold on...I still have more threads.

The illustrator, Frederic Mizen, was born in Chicago in 1888 and died in Los Angeles in 1964. The following can be found at robertlivernois.com:
...Frederic Mizen became a noted western genre and landscape painter as well as illustrator, portraitist, and art teacher. From childhood, he had heard stories of the West from his father who was secretary to three generals active on the frontier. In Chicago, he attended the J. Francis Smith Academy of Art, studied there with Walter Ufer, and then enrolled in the Art Institute of Chicago. He also studied at the Academy Julian in Paris. At age 20, he began an illustration assignment with Joseph P. Berren Studios for a Sears catalogue and continued commercial art, doing the first billboard ad for Coca Cola as well as numerous magazine covers including "Saturday Evening Post," the "American," and "Collier's." He also was successful financially with his advertising work for automobile manufacturers to promote travel, and created illustrations for Oldsmobile, Cadillac, Packard and others. During the summers, he painted in the West, joining Walter Ufer in Taos, New Mexico, which was becoming an established art colony. After Mizen established his own art school in Chicago, he regularly took students to Taos in the summers. In 1931, on illustration assignment from Coca Cola, he depicted a Coca-Cola drinking group of people in a painting titled "Old Faithful Inn at Old Faithful Geiser" in Yellowstone National Park. In 1936, he founded the Frederic Mizen Academy of Art in Chicago and did Indian studies and Southwest landscapes for the Santa Fe Railroad. He also received numerous portrait commissions. For eight years, 1952 to 1960, he Chaired the Department of Art of Baylor University, and he was a member of the Art Institute of Chicago.
See, more threads. Yellowstone, National Park, and Coca-Cola, and the Santa-Fe Railroad. Okay, I know...pretty thin thread, but hey, it was interesting to me and you can just suffer through it.

To see the Coca-Cola illustration at Old Faithful click on this link to the Gene Autry Museum (which if you're ever in L. A. make a point of seeing this museum if you love the myths and realities of the West.).

And it turns out Mr. Mizen painted the very first Santa for Coca-Cola:
My wife's uncle, Fred Mizen, was said to have had some involvement in creating the Coke Santa. Do you have any info regarding his contributions to the Coke artwork?
Posted by: boho | July 22, 2008 at 10:41 AM

boho - Frederic Mizen did create an image of Santa for Coca-Cola in 1930. That image showed a department store Santa taking a break from his duties (drinking a Coke, of course). The next year, we introduced the Coca-Cola Santa by Haddon Sundblom. The Santa by Mizen is different from the Santa by Sundblom because Sundblom captured the man who is Santa -- making Santa human. The artwork by Mizen showed a man dressed as Santa (the department store Santa). I also thought you might be interested that Mizen created other artwork for Coca-Cola, including the image used on our first billboard in 1925. Thanks -- Phil
Posted by: Phil Mooney | July 22, 2008 at 01:51 PM
To see a few other paintings by Mizen click here and here. And for one more thread...a print of a Navajo woman that was owned by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad and used for advertising purposes click here. Hmmmmm...could a thread to Fred Harvey be here? I  don't know.

I'll admit my thread is stretched to the breaking point, but it's always fun to see where a piece of ephemera may lead.


  1. gjelizabeth11/14/2009

    "Be a pie and do it for me" was my favorite bit of this post. I hope to remember it long enough to use it when I'm wheedling a favor from someone. I throroughly enjoyed this meandering thread. I read all your posts and appreciate your embedding the pictures you reference as it makes the text more meaninful. I especially liked the picture of the Navajo shepherdess. She looks tired and more real than many of the idealized portraits from advertising. Thanks for a great blog!

  2. How very nice of you. You're the peachiest of pies!

  3. Your mind is very busy.
    Love this post.

  4. Much to my dismay it never shuts off. It's constantly going. I live in my brain. It's a weird world.

  5. I say old thing, jolly nice little note you penned there. I see you are featuring drawings of my lifestyle over here in the old country. Mother and Daddy are not so thrilled to be seen on something so vulgar as the internet, but hey ho they are such fuddy duddies! Must go sweetie, I'm off for some cocoa and I need to remind cook to put the Log Cabin syrup on the table for our porridge in the morning ;)

  6. Oh, you're such a dear pie. Do have some cocoa and crumpets and think of me.

  7. Thought I'd pop in just to let you know that I've left you an award on my blog. If you don't have time to answer the questions then no worries, just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog.

  8. Janice,

    You're too kind! But then you're a Scot so I have to be crazy for you.

    Right now I am too swamped to do anything, but I am working on something I hope you'll enjoy. Something I've been working on for months. I should have it up in the next couple days.