Alan Stephens Foster was born in Fulton, New York on November 2, 1892 to Langdon C. and Abby Stevens Foster. He was born in the same room as his mother at 218 South Forth Street, where he spent his childhood before moving to New York City to further pursue his artistic talents.
After graduating from Fulton High School in 1911, he attended and graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Art. Foster's first job was producing children's pages for The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. He performed as an actor for two years with "The Better Way" Company of Klaw & Erlanger and also worked as a motor truck salesman before becoming a self-taught illustrator.
Alan Stephens Foster was one of the most prolific cover artists for The Saturday Evening Post, producing over thirty cover paintings for The Post between the years 1923 and 1933, almost all featuring youngsters, and many involving the world of sport. As a contemporary of Norman Rockwell, many have compared their work both in terms of style and content.
Foster's illustrations and artwork have been featured in several other publications such as The New Yorker, Redbook, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Etude and Collier's Weekly among others. Fultonians may recall that he also created the earlier "Campbell Kids" cartoon for Campbell's Soup advertisements.
In the late 1920s, Foster developed a unique three dimensional caricature technique in clay and later created an improved screen printing method. When asked about becoming a portrait sculptor Foster said, "There's something of the ridiculous in every human being. My portraits would bring it out. So people wouldn't buy from me unless they were interested in art instead of themselves." He began an art advertising business in the 1950s after undergoing five operations for glaucoma.
Foster was first married to Stella Nary, which ended in divorce in 1924. He later married Mary Foley of Boston and they were divorced in 1956. Foster had two children, John Langdon and Edith Nary.
Alan Stephens Foster was 76 years old when he died in New York City. He is buried in Mt. Adnah Cemetery in Fulton, New York.
Information courtesy of:
Friends of History In Fulton, N.Y. Inc., 177 South First Street, P.O. Box 157, Fulton, New York 13069 ~ 315.598.4616 ~ firstname.lastname@example.org"