Updated: Dec 11, 2021
1939 Window Display
In the Christian faith, the Christmas Holiday commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. In the secular world, Christmas is celebrated with a degree of commercialism with traditions that originated in the celebrations of the Roman and pre-christian eras. These winter solstice celebrations were often characterized by the use of candles and evergreen trees, much like we are familiar with today.
An 19th Century St. Nick.
Enter Mr. Sundblom.
In 1931, Michigan born artist Haddon Sundblom Americanized the thinner, gaunt and more pious view of Saint Nicholas from previous centuries in Europe and early America. Through his wonderful painting style, Sundblom turned him into a child friendly, plump and jolly, Coca-Coca marketing Santa Claus. These iconic Santa illustrations from 1931 to 1964 for Coca-Cola are still in use today, very popular with collectors, and have influenced today's popular view of the Holiday arguably more than any other single source.
1941 Window Display
Haddon "Sunny" Sundblom, one of the most prominent American illustrators of the early 20th century, was born in Muskegon, Michigan in 1899. He left school when he was thirteen to help out the family after his mother passed away. Later he studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the American Academy of Art, opening his own illustration studio under the name of Sundblom and Anderson on North Michigan Avenue in Chicago.
Mr. Sundblom sees Santa in the mirror.