1949 / Gouache, ink and graphite pencil on paperboard / 11 3/4”x10 1/2″
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Ernest Baker, born in 1889 in Rhode Island, was a self-taught illustrator. Most of his works were covers for Time magazine, although he was responsible for eleven covers for Fortune magazine between 1929 and 1941.
Beginning in 1939, Baker produced over 300 covers for Time during his seventeen-year tenure with the magazine. He was described by Time publisher, Ralph Ingersoll, as an artist who could do anything.
In December of 1949, Winston Churchill was chosen by Time magazine as the “Man of the Half-Century”, celebrated in a 16-page supplement which was contained in the January 2nd issue of 1950. Baker did the cover illustration for that issue.
Describing Mr Churchill as “the man of the half -century,” Time magazine says: “No man’s history can sum up the dreadful, wonderful years 1900-50. Mr Churchill’s story comes closest …. Sometimes wrong, often right, he fought his way toward the heart of every storm.”