The Palisades Poster


Unframed, 41 x 26 ¾" poster.


Leslie Ragan was born in Iowa, studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, and went on to become one of the most celebrated commercial artists of the twentieth century, creating more than one hundred posters for the New York Central Railway alone. He started working on poster commissions for New York Central Lines in 1929 and produced some of the railroad company’s most iconic works.

This illustration, which is in the HRM’s permanent collection, displays Ragan’s distinctive use of bright colors, refined forms and contrast in light and shadow, in the tradition of American illustrators Howard Pyle (1853–1911), Maxfield Parrish (1870–1966), and N.C. Wyeth (1882–1945). The Palisades, shown in the background, are dramatically surrounded by voluminous clouds and represent nature’s skyscrapers towering over the tiny sailboats below.