Congratulations to the Class of 2021! This charming poster, advertising the June edition of Harper’s Magazine, gives a nod to the graduates of 1895. Artist Edward Penfield is credited with inventing the American publishing poster, a boom that thrived in the 1890s. Each month, Penfield created a lithograph to promote the magazine. He drew on seasonal events to indicate the month, here adding a profusion of blooming roses to accompany the young man in cap and gown. As a way to indicate the graduate’s erudition and good taste, Penfield’s scholar studiously studies a copy of Harper’s Magazine.
—Mary Weaver Chapin, Curator of Prints and Drawings