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Merry Christmas, Happy New Year

Published onJan 28, 2022
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year

Christian Petersen (Danish-American, 1885-1961)

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, c.1941

Linocut on paper

Purchased by the Christian Petersen Memorial Fund.  In the Christian Petersen Art Collection, Christian Petersen Art Museum, University Museums, Iowa State University. UM92.193


This family Christmas card probably dates from 1941, just after the December 7th attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor, which propelled America into World War II.  Petersen depicts himself at work on a sculpture of the globe when suddenly two explosions issue from it, throwing him back in a pose of surprise and alarm.  His wife, Charlotte, and his daughter, Mary, stand nearby sharing his astonishment as they gaze at an embattled world. The explosions are positioned on either side of the earth, perhaps to represent the two theaters of war: Europe and the Pacific.

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