His art was admired by Norman Rockwell. His handiwork can be seen in ads for General Motors, American Airlines, and Campbell Soup.
And over the course of his career, 129 of John Falter's paintings were published as Saturday Evening Post covers.
And it all got started in Falls City, Nebraska.
Deb Arenz says, "It took a total of probably two and a half years of time to get this exhibit together."
It was a labor of love for Deb and her staff to sift through John Falter's 5,000 piece collection that was given to the museum upon Falter's death in 1982, "John Falter was one of the nation's preeminent illustrators from about the 1930's to the 1960's."
Falter fell in love with drawing at an early age and some of his earliest works were cartoons. He drew a number of cartoons that ran in the Falls City Journal in the mid-1920's."
25 years later, Falter was so popular that he was featured on the cover of Newsweek. Deb says, "He's at the top of his career at that time, 1952, and when they asked him to do a self-portrait he includes Nebraska, not anywhere else he lived, not New York, not California, not Pennsylvania."
Even though he spent most of his professional career in New York, Falter's heart was always in Nebraska, "I think it's just indicative of the effect that his upbringing had on him and his affection for our state and how he shared our state with the rest of the nation and the rest of the world through his art."
Falter was one of the country's most successful illustrators precisely because he knew how to capture the spirit of the times. His illustrations provided a window into mid-20th century American culture. And nowhere where they more visible than on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post.
A special article with reproductions of Falter works is featured in the Spring 2012 issue of Nebraska History magazine. Public programs will include illustrated lectures, family workshops, and special tours for school groups and art classes. "The Illustrator's Pencil: John Falter, from Nebraska to The Saturday Evening Post" runs through August of 2013.
For more information visit www.nebraskahistory.org http://www.nebraskahistory.org or call 402-471-3270.
The Nebraska History Museum is open to the public Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 1:00-4:30 p.m.