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AUTO HISTORY

Motor Illustrator: Hayden Hayden

January 1928 cover. A scantily clad mythic goddess with streaming red hair holds celestial reins on a blue sedan that propels her through the night sky.

January 1928 cover. A scantily clad mythic goddess with streaming red hair holds celestial reins on a blue sedan that propels her through the night sky.


Howard Crosby Renwick (aka Hayden Hayden; April 3, 1885 — September 25, 1955) was well known as a calendar artist, though he also illustrated advertisements, magazines, and posters and painted oil portraits, as well. An active artist from the twenties through the forties, he studied under Haddon Sundblom, creator of Santa Claus images for Coca-Cola ad campaigns. Hayden Hayden was particularly adept at picturing the girl next door in alluring poses, often with form-fitting or scant clothing. The work was particularly aimed at attracting male viewers.

Born in Oswego in upstate New York, by 1909 he had moved to New York City where he was treasurer of the Art Students League, a school where he would later teach. A member of the Society of Illustrators, his commercial art work was used in advertising campaigns for Jell-O, Coca-Cola, Gossard lingerie, Beech-Nut gum, Lucky Strike cigarettes, Heinz ketchup, Arrow shirts, Gainsborough hairnets, Bab-O cleanser, Dr. West toothpaste, Humming Bird and Luxite hosiery, DuPont Duco furniture finish, and Premier salad dressing. In addition to those products, he drew automotive ads for Willys-Knight (1923), Cadillac (1926) and Pontiac (1929). His magazine illustrations appeared in Town and Country, Ladies Home Journal, The American, Pictorial Review, and MoToR.

He was also noted for his work as a portraitist, exhibiting a nude female portrait mysteriously entitled "The Red Cloak" at the Salmagundi Club in February, 1916 and another at the 1918 Spring Exhibit of the National Academy. In 1916, he did an oil painting of Mrs. Lawrence Tibbits. In 1917 he painted Jennie Marston, daughter of prominent banker Edgar L. Marston, and, in 1918, ones of New York City Mayor and Mrs. William Jay Gaynor. In 1924, he is known to have executed a portrait of actress Julia Hoyt. Also that year consumers could send photos into a national Lifebuoy soap contest for the "most attractive, healthiest and happiest" Mother and Child. Third prize was $500, a trip to New York to sit for a portrait by Renwick, and the portrait he painted. In 1929, working from an earlier photograph, the artist painted Howard Renwick, a distant cousin and famed architect.

While lesser known works, Renwick contributed to the war effort during WWI and WWII. In World War I, he contributed a painting to the Food Administration for their exhibit on food control that was shown at state fairs. During WWII, he drew several poster illustrations, inclusive of ones for the military ("A Message from America" and "Missing in Action"); USO ("Until They're Home"); and the Red Cross ("America's Answer to Humanity's Challenge" and "At the Helm — in Time of Need").

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