“Woman’s Home Companion” is not a (magazine) name to immediately bring to mind an imperative of the mysterious side of life. Practical food ingredients, toothpaste, floor wax, Arch Preserver Shoes (allowing the little lady to get back on the golf links and become, as before, a “pal” to her husband) etc.—yes; the unknown—no.
But here, in the April 1927 issue, there is a graphic that trips you up! What could be more mundane than kids coming home from school? But artist, Marginel Wright Barney, shoots for something else—a school of umbrellas as edgy as sharks, and as graceful as a school of jellyfish!
Just to show us that this surprise was no fluke, we have a spate of cover designs from one of the stars of American art deco graphics, William Welsh. Here we have estate-familiar deer in the winter lending their perfect lines to an explosion of eerie color and more than eerie fantasy.
Welsh’s graphic series for the Companion has been based upon musical dynamics, in this case, Allegro with its emphasis upon speed. Hence the greyhounds and a swift-footed girl, enfolded in streamline composition and crisp fall colors. (The previous Welsh invention was titled Andante, meaning a calm steady pace as befits the cruising speed of deer.)
With the War clearly on the horizon, the Companion flinches a bit from its mission of shaking things up. Already too shaken, the readers would have appreciated this resort to classic American wholesome fun. On the other hand, this co-ed would be a reminder of the dislocated lives about to become the norm.