Housework in Art and Illustration

Housework in Art and Illustration

Washing and Washing Work

Sewing, Spinning and Weaving

The Symbolism of Broomsticks

Feminine pursuits, Pieter Roosing, 1814 - 1839
Feminine pursuits, Pieter Roosing, 1814 – 1839

The first edition of THE JOY OF COOKING (1931), self-published by Irma Rombauer, is America’s most popular cookbook, having sold more than 18,000,000 copies. On the original cover, the book featured a silhouette cutout illustration by Rombauer’s daughter, Marion Rombauer Becker, who was director of the art department at John Burroughs School in St. Louis. Her design depicts Saint Martha of Bethany, the patron saint of cooking (representing here the chore’s drudgery), beating a dragon with a mop.

The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer
The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer
from a Hoover vacuum cleaner ad in the March 27, 1950 issue of Life magazine
Soilax Cleaner for floors, walls and woodwork. From the May 1957 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine. I’m thankful marketers have gotten a bit more savvy. This sounds like laxative that makes you soil your daks.
This illustration is by John Falter, for an edition of the Saturday Evening Post. Clearly humorous in intent, I find this intensely irritating. I’m not sure a mother of young children would have illustrated a ‘humorous’ scene quite like this one.
Cover of the July 1938 issue of Home Arts Needlecraft Magazine. Illustration by Ralph Pallen Coleman
Jean Fleming (1937 – 1988) self portrait 1958
Stevan Dahanos After Dinner Dishes, Saturday Evening, January 8, 1949
Rinso soap advertisement published in the March 1935 issue of Woman’s Home Companion magazine
Interior with Maid c.1913 Douglas Fox Pitt 1864-1922
Interior with Maid c.1913 Douglas Fox Pitt 1864-1922
William Harris Weatherhead - Peeling Apples for a Pie 1886
William Harris Weatherhead – Peeling Apples for a Pie 1886
George Hughes More Clothes To Clean
Published in the May 1959 issue of Family Circle magazine. Illustration by Richard Hook
Bon Ami advertisement published in the October 1943 issue of American Home magazine
Marianne Stokes – Polishing Pans 1887
Hakon Bjarke Thorsen (1866-1925) Farm Interior With A Woman Washing Clothes, Danish
Leo Whelan domestic interior c 1912
‘Serviceman’s Wife’,ca.1942 Ivan G. Olinsky
Jakub Schikaneder (Czech, 1855-1924)
‘Down and Out in London.’ (1937) Nora Heysen
Harold Harvey painted this during WW 1
‘The French Kitchen.’ (c1930) Weaver Hawkins
Ralph Hedley – The Butter Churn
Yuri Ivanovich Pimenov (1903-1977) washing windows
Yuri Ivanovich Pimenov (1903-1977) washing windows
Jill Barklem (1951 – 2017) spring cleaning
Frank Holl - Peeling Potatoes ca. 1880 kitchen
Frank Holl – Peeling Potatoes ca. 1880 kitchen
Eugenio Edouardo Zampighi (Italian, 1855-1944) Spinning In The Kitchen
Édouard Vuillard (1868-1940) The sweeper, 346 rue Saint-Honoré, 1895
Portrait of Mademoiselle Boissiere Knitting by Gustave Caillebotte 1877
Mr. Fix-It 1956 Art by Stevan Dohanos kitchen
Mr. Fix-It 1956 Art by Stevan Dohanos
Suffolk author & illustrator Kathleen Hale, Orlando the Marmalade Cat housework
Suffolk author & illustrator Kathleen Hale, Orlando the Marmalade Cat
The Wood Street Helpers by Mabel Esther Allan
Fritz Sonderland (1830-1896) La petite mésaventure, 1868
François Bonvin (1817-1887, French) Woman Ironing 1858. A dark and dingy place to iron. Here’s hoping she’s at least warm.
Georges Antoine van Zevenberghen Belgian artist (1877-1968). If you must iron, better to do it with a good view out the window.
Robert Spencer (1879-1931)
Kinuko Craft – Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave

Header painting: Garnet Ruskin Wolseley (1884-1967) British

Those who tell the stories rule the world.

Native American Proverb