December 15th, 2010

Christmas, Advent

Advent Art: Good Boys and Girls

Haddon Sundblom (1899-1976)
Good Boys and Girls, 1951
Oil on canvas
World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta

It's been said that the Coca-Cola Company created the modern image of Santa Claus as a jolly fat man dressed in red and white. It's not true, but the company probably did play a role in popularizing that look with its annual Christmas advertisements, which for 33 years were created by the Michigan artist Haddon Sundblom. (Who, by the way, also created Aunt Jemima and the Quaker Oats Quaker, and the Coke advertising slogan "the Pause that Refreshes.") The paintings created by Sundblom were and are enormously popular. And if you doubt something like this counts as art, I would note that Sundblom's Santa paintings have bein exhibited in the Louvre (in an exhibit organized by the Coca-Cola Company, but still).

Previous Advent posts:

2003: Chanticleer
2004: The Madonna of Humility
2005: Greetings from California
2006: from Hogfather
2007: The Adoration of the Shepherds
2008: Blue Christmas
2009: To Christ Our Lord