Dr. Jaleen Grove has been writing and publishing on scholarly aspects of illustration and illustration history since 2006, and working and writing in the industry since 1990. In 2018–2019 she is an Assistant Professor in Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design. www.jaleengrove.com
“Do you like illustrated articles?” asked The Western Home Monthly in 1901. The answer was obvious, but drawing attention to illustration reminded prairie and northern readers what a magazine subscription offered that small-town newspapers largely did not. In 1903 editors boasted that WHM was going to be “Amply Illustrated”—special articles in particular, “so that they may be of greater value along the line of instruction”—and that the cover newly printed in two colors and larger format would specifically “give better attention to illustration.” WHM also doubled as a showpiece for parent company Stovel Printing, which offered art services: some WHM illustrations are signed by Stovel Studio. An examination of illustration tells us much about publishers’ and audiences’ values—and about the power of the visual, material object to define identity and to act rhetorically.