Charles Twelvetrees

OK, how about girls and gunpowder? The idea of girls with guns can be one of brute empowerment. Quite the opposite is portrayed in this Charles Twelvetrees (1888–1948) postcard. He was an illustrator of many postcards and magazine covers after his initial stint creating the character “Johnny Quack” for the New York Herald from 1909–1911. All of his images are of chubby children or babies and as I read through them, they are really all adult situations projected onto child figures.

The image bothered me superficially because the girl is put into peril, but I get the impression the artist is intending this as comedic manipulation. One might at first guess this is an expression of an exasperated parent who finds his or her child getting into trouble with innocent unconcern.  One then learns that his quotes are directed at the reader, not a description of the scene, usually some reminder to write (Remember letter writing?)  This gives it an even darker suggestion, as though a lover is being neglected.

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Charles Twelvetrees – Untitled (Nothing seems to worry you.)

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