Our cover this month, The Christmas Puppy by Walter Beach Humphrey, sold for $2,750 at Heritage Auctions Illustration Art Signature Auction on Oct. 15, 2019 in Dallas. An artist and illustrator, Humphrey is best known for his magazine covers and illustrations for publications such as Liberty and The Saturday Evening Post.
In addition to his prolific career illustrating magazines, Humphrey also worked on several murals, including one that he produced for his alma mater, Dartmouth College, which landed him in hot water. The work, created in 1938-39 in the basement of the school’s dining hall, is a series of four painted canvas scenes—depicting a mythical story about the founder of Dartmouth meeting up and drinking with the local Indian chief, who then becomes one of the first undergraduates at the newly formed school—inspired by a Dartmouth drinking song.
The mural, which also features half-naked women in headdresses, reading books upside down, was originally found to be “fairly innocent” and humorous by most of the mainly white and male faculty members and students at the time. However, during the 1970s, as the student body became more diverse, the women and Native American students on campus failed to see the humor in the work and in turn found the imagery insulting. After much controversy, the paintings were covered by specially made panels in 1983.
As this story and history tells, women often have faced obstacles on their journey to equality with their male counterparts. This month’s special report, “Wonder Women,” highlights some of the overlooked issues that women, both as clients and estate planners themselves, face when it comes to wealth planning.