Ellen H. Clapsaddle is probably one of the most iconic postcard illustrators of her time. When you think of typical vintage postcards, you picture her work.
She was born in South Columbia, New York in 1865 and was a freelance artist who specialized in postcards, greeting cards, advertising fans and calendars. She is most famous for her more than 3,000 illustrated postcards, most of which depict adorable, innocent children in holiday scenes.
She did so well in the postcard industry that she was able to invest money heavily in German postcard companies and later moved to Berlin to work closely with the engravers. While living there during WWI, almost all of her original works were destroyed when the factory where they were stored was destroyed
After the war she returned to the United States destitute and lived out her remaining years in poverty until she died in 1934.
You will see a lot of her work used in crafts today. Since her works are considered Public Domain, having been published prior to 1923, they are available to be used in projects.
Here are some examples of her style (OK, a lot of examples):
Does anyone else notice a dirigible theme? Actually postcards with dirigibles, blimps, airships and zeppelin are very popular with collectors.
Oh my, those are gorgeous!!!
I have several of those and, I am ashamed to tell you, I never paid any attention to who the artist was...isn't that awful? I LOVE her work! Now I will have to see if I can find some of those other pictures by her! Diana
Gorgeous! Thanks for giving a name to the artist of these iconic images.
I have some of these cards, and I love displaying them at holiday times. Thank you for sharing your collection.
Gorgeous illustrations! It's sad she died poor.
I will keep an eye for some of these delicious postcards.
Gail @ Faithfulness Farm
Some of my favorite vintage postcards are Ellen's lovely artwork. What a wonderful collection 🙂
I absolutely love her work. When I think of Halloween, I think of her work. I adore the pumpkin balloon. Unfortunately, I don't have any of those originals. I have a small collection of vintage postcards, only one has her signature, but I see some of these don't either. Maybe I should have another look at them because some of them definitely seem to be her style. I'm sharing some postcards this week, too, I hope you'll stop by!
These are just beautiful! And you are right about these being iconic:)
Pink Roses and Teacups
I love this artist. Her postcards are adorable. I have some of these in my collection. What a shame she died poor. Thanks for sharing.
What a wonderful postcard collection you have. They all all so cute and fun. I enjoyed hearing the history behind them as well.
these are so sweet....I love the Halloween ones....so cute. Have a great VTT!
These are wonderful. She was very talented. You never know when you may need a George Washington birthday card. :o) La
I have some of her Thanksgiving and Christmas postcards, but Halloween postcards are too expensive for me.
How sad she couldn't have reaped the rewards of her beautiful work. I have a few of hers.
The Paint Splash
You have an amazing collection. It is sad that she didn't get to enjoy the later years of her life. Have a blessed week. Debbie
Sally Annie Magundy
Thank you so much for all the info and the wonderful images - what a tremendous talent she was, so heartbreaking she passed away impoverished.
Thank you for sharing such an interesting post! So sad that her life ended up the way you described! 🙁
HaPpY vInTaGe ThInGiE ThUrSdAy!
What a wonderful artist!
[email protected] Ground
Hi Pam what a great post! Such an amazing story of her life. What an artist she was, great images of her work. Thanks so much for linking in today with VIF, have a great weekend,