J.C. Leyendecker: Trail Blazing Illustrator

It's possible you've never heard of J.C. Leyendecker, but you've almost certainly seen his influence in advertising and illustration.  Famous as the creator of theArrow Collar Man, illustrator for 322 covers for the Saturday Evening Post, and mentor to Norman Rockwell, his creations are beautiful, polished, thought provoking,  some are surprisingly suggestive for the time, and all of them represent a long lost vision of America and, specifically, the American male. 

His private life was also ahead of its time, in that he lived with a man, and the two of them threw lavish parties in the 1920's.  His mate, Charles Beach was the model for many of the men he painted, including the Arrow Collar Man, and was the cause of feuding between Joseph and his siblings, who did not approve of the relationship.  Leyendecker's life reads like something out of the pages of a gay Great Gatsby, and Collector's Weekly published an excellent article about him last year, which you should definitely take the time to read.