From the Archives: Our Favorite Christmas Catalog Covers

We’ve filled our Christmas catalogs with classic gifts and customer favorites for over a century. But one of our favorite parts of preparing the catalog isn’t choosing what goes inside, but finding the perfect cover to capture the charm of the season. Over the years we’ve featured the work of some notable artists – from children’s book authors to Saturday Evening Post illustrators – and last year we even recreated a few iconic covers.

We took a look at our archives and pulled out a few of our favorite Christmas covers. See if you can recognize a few!

1985, by Francis Golden

A New England native, Francis Golden was an avid outdoorsman who loved fly fishing. During his career, Golden also painted the background on Salvador Dali’s The Dream of Venus for the 1939 World’s Fair.


1991, by Lee Stroncek

Originally published in 1991, this cover by Lee Stroncek was recreated for our 100th anniversary by photographer Randal Ford at the Sugarloaf Outdoor Center in Maine.


1993, by Robert Cunningham

In addition to painting our 1993 cover, artist Robert Cunningham also painted and illustrated for Sports Illustrated and designed a set of 10 commemorative stamps for the 1980 Olympic Games.


1996, by Chris Van Dusen

For this cover we commissioned our Portland neighbor Chris Van Dusen to illustrate our Freeport location during the busy Christmas season. Since then, Van Dusen has become a children’s book author and illustrator.


1998, by Jared Lee

If you think this cover looks a little familiar, then you’ll probably recognize Jared Lee’s illustrations from the Scholastic Black Lagoon series. Lee has been illustrating for the popular children’s books for over 20 years!


2003, by Mike Kowalski

Painting idyllic outdoor scenes comes naturally for an artist who loves working in open landscapes. As a plein air artist, Mike Kowalski has won many awards for his work in watercolor and oil.


2007, by Chris Van Dusen

Did you know that Chris also designed the Maine lobster license plate?


2009, by Anna and Elena Balbusso

Italian twins Anna and Elena Balbusso have been working as a team since 1998. Their illustrations have been used for book jackets, magazines, advertisements and children’s books.



What other Christmas catalog covers do you remember? Tell us in the comments below.

  1. H Wayne dick | January 5, 2014 | 12:29 pm

    How do you chose your covers?

    Best is1985, 1996

    • Laurie | L.L.Bean | January 6, 2014 | 4:29 pm

      Hi – We commission professional artists to create our four seasonal catalog covers each year. Thanks for asking.

  2. Chrsitine Gawrych | May 31, 2014 | 5:19 pm

    I just love the Christmas 2013 Christmas catalog cover by Maine artist Mary Bourke. Do you have any canvas prints or other items available with this lovely artwork?

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