Art of Football
Football Program Cover Art, 1930-1939

1930 Michigan State
Michigan State College, 1930
1931 Ohio State
Ohio State, 1931
1932 Princeton
Princeton, 1932
Programs in the decade of the thirties featured several distinctive styles. U of M student Melvin Ivory's photos of campus buildings graced the 1930 and 1931 programs.  Shown here are the courtyard of the Lawyer's Club and the facade of Angell Hall.  The 1932-1934 covers featured pictures of Michigan All-Americans. The photos are from Ann Arbor's Rentschler Studio which took the official team, captain, and All-American photos from 1896 to1969. 1933 Minnesota
Minnesota, 1933
1929 Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech, 1934
1929 Michigan State
Michigan State College, 1935
1929 Indiana
Indiana, 1935
The 1935 programs are some of the most graphically interesting the U of M ever produced. In a style reminiscent of late art-deco, they represent virtues needed for or produced by college football: courage, activity, effort, endurance and achievement. Could these possibly have been intended as inspiration to a team coming off a 1-7 season? The artist for these highly stylized covers is not credited.

1935 Penn
Penn, 1935
1935 Minnesota
Minnesota, 1935
1935 Ohio State
Ohio State, 1935
1936 Illinois
Illinois, 1936


The 1936 covers feature the vivid colors of H. Alonzo Keller's football action paintings. Lon Keller was one of the best known sports illustrators of the day and his work was featured on the programs of many teams. He also designed the logo of the New York Yankees.

Three of the grand old men of Michigan athletics graced the covers of 1937 programs: coach and athletic director Fielding Yost; Charles Baird, who started as undergraduate football manager in 1893 and then served as graduate director of athletics until 1908; and Keene Fitzpatrick, athletic trainer and track coach, 1896-1911. Fitzpatrick's portrait on the 1937 Chicago game program is from a painting by Roy Gamble that hangs in the north lounge of the Michigan Union.

San Francisco artist Michael Kady's "Kid" cover for the 1937 Michigan State program proved so popular with U of M football fans he was invited to do a whole series for the 1938 programs. Kady's own son served as the model for the Norman Rockwell style paintings.

Portraits of the opposing captain highlighted the 1939 programs in a style that mimicked LIFE magazine.

1937 Chicago
Chicago, 1937

1937 Michigan State
Michigan State College, 1937
1937 Northwestern
Northwestern, 1938
1938 Chicago
Chicago, 1938
1939 Minnesota Minnesota, 1939