This article is for quizzes on Tuesday December 15th...
Haddon Hubbard "Sunny" Sundblom (June 22, 1899 – March 10, 1976) was a Finnish illustrator and American artist best known for the images of Santa Claus he created for The Coca-Cola Company.
Santa Claus advertisements he painted for The Coca-Cola Company in the 1930s. Sundblom's Claus firmly established the larger-than-life, grandfatherly Claus as a key figure in American Christmas imagery. So popular were Sundblom's images of Claus (Sundblom's images are used by Coca-Cola to this day) that Sundblom is often credited has having created the modern image of Santa Claus.
According to the Coca-Cola company: "For inspiration, Sundblom turned to Clement Clark Moore's 1822 poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas" (commonly called "'Twas the Night Before Christmas"). Moore's description of St. Nick led to an image of Santa that was warm, friendly, pleasantly plump and human. For the next 33 years, Sundblom painted portraits of Santa that helped to create the modern image of Santa – an interpretation that today lives on in the minds of people of all ages, all over the world."
Sundblom also conceived Coke's mascot Sprite Boy who appeared in print ads during the 1940s and 1950s.
Sundblom is recognized as a major influence on many well known pin-up artists, such as Gil Elvgren, Edward Runci, Joyce Ballantyne, Art Frahm, and Harry Ekman. In the mid-1930s, he began to paint pin-ups and glamour pieces for calendars. Sundblom's last assignment, in 1972, was a cover painting for Playboy's Christmas issue.