Artist, Ellen Clapsaddle (1863 - 1934)
was the most prolific postcard and greeting card illustrator of her era. Because of the
impact of World War I on the German chromolithography printing industry,
sending illustrated postcards fell out of fashion just after the war started and never fully
recovered. While very few of Ellen Clapsaddle's original illustrations survived the war, her printed
work reminds us of the innocence and purity of childhood.
Her art brings back an era much cherished for its civility
and gentility. Her life is a story of both success and tragedy -- success in the beauty
and innocence of her artistry, and tragedy in the destructiveness of war on her life and career.
(World War I destroyed the German printing industry, where most of her postcard illustrations were
printed, and she was soon left penniless, alone, and mentally incapacitated.)
Have we replace Jesus Christ with false Christmas Traditions? There has been a lot of discussion in recent years about how Christ has been "X"ed out of Christmas (Xmas) and replaced by other "gods", like commercialism and Santa Claus.
Santa Claus is an American version of St. Nicholas, a fourth-century bishop of the Christian church in Asia Minor. The feast day of St. Nicholas is December 6, and in many European countries the children find on the morning of that day that the saint has come during the night and left presents for them by the chimney piece. The early American colonists adopted the festivity from the Dutch settlers, changing the Dutch name of the saint (San Nicolaas) to Santa Claus and the time of his visit to Christmas Eve.
Santa Claus first started appearing in illustrations within the United States in the 1860's. The above image was taken from a circa 1910 stone lithograph printed postcard. It was drawn by the artist, Ellen Clapsaddle. The illustration shows Santa Claus listening to a little girl's bedtime prayers. Although this seems to be an innocent concept, some may view it as Santa replacing Christ as the mediator between God and man!
Personally, I like the idea of Santa Claus, except when he starts
replacing Christ as the giver of all good gifts. As long as one continues to remember and teach about Who we
are truly celebrating, I think there is room for Santa Claus. --Royce Bair, Director of TSS
Vintage Christmas Collection
Most of our images are available in a Victorian Collection on iCLIPART. Download all
you want for as little as $19.95 (NOTE: Unlike SmugMug or Shutterstock, iClipart images
are only available in medium size, & only licensed for personal & limited small business use.
Victorian Traditions Home Page
The Vintage Art Collections and the Vintage Classics Collection
are divisions of The Stock Solution Photo Agency
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Contact: Royce Bair
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West Jordan, UT 84084
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