The Automotive Art of Stevan Dohanos

Many of Steven Dohanos’ cover paintings for the Saturday Evening Post were celebrations of the automobile in American life. Here’s a small sampling of his memorable work. 



Norman Rockwell is the best known of the great Saturday Evening Post cover illustrators, but he wasn’t the only one, not by a long shot. The magazine maintained an impressive stable of talented artists that included Rockwell, John Philip Falter, W.H.D. Koerner, and many others, including the one we feature here: Steven Dohanos, 1907-1994.

Like Rockwell, Dohanos captured ordinary moments in American life in a style that was broadly known as social realism. In fact, the work of the two artists has sometimes been confused by casual viewers. Both painters spoke to the Post audience about what it’s like to live in America, and what it means to be an American—in a highly idealized tone, some critics will say, while others will say that’s the point.

Of special interest to us gearheads, Dohanos often depicted car culture and America’s love of the automobile in his work for the Post, which included more than 125 covers for the weekly through the ’40s and ’50s. Here we provide a very small sample. To view the magazine’s jaw-dropping gallery of cover illustrations through the years, along with other familiar touchstones of American culture, be sure to visit The Saturday Evening Post website–it’s beyond awesome. Gallery below.


Tex’s Motorcycle, Saturday Evening Post, April 7, 1951


Stop and Pay Toll, Saturday Evening Post, April 7, 1956


Backup Collision, Saturday Evening Post, August 4, 1956


Working on the Jalopy, Saturday Evening Post, May 20, 1950


One thought on “The Automotive Art of Stevan Dohanos

  1. Wonderful artistic capture of a long gone era. Note that the price of The Saturday Evening Post was only 15 cents from May , 1950 through August , 1956 — about the price of a gallon of gas , no inflation there. This old man lived those years driving his Model A Fords , lusting for motorcycles and sports cars , yearnings which I was able to satisfy in the life that followed. Thank you for posting these swell images.

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