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The Betty Crocker Portraits

Betty Crocker’s official portraits through the years.
The Betty Crocker Portraits

In celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Betty Crocker name in 1936, a portrait was commissioned from Neysa McMein, a prominent New York artist. In her rendition, McMein blended the features of several Home Service Department members into a motherly image, which remained the official likeness of Betty Crocker for nearly 20 years.

1936 Betty Crocker Portrait

In 1955, six well-known artists, including Norman Rockwell, were invited to paint fresh interpretations of Betty Crocker. About 1,600 women from across the country evaluated the finished works. The one they chose, by illustrator Hilda Taylor, was a softer, smiling version of the original image.

1955 Betty Crocker Portrait

In 1965 and again in 1969, the portrait was updated by Joe Bowler, noted magazine illustrator. Both Bowler versions were dramatic departures from the earlier two—Betty Crocker was changing with the times.

1965 and 1969 Betty Crocker Portraits

The fifth portrait, painted in 1972 by Minnesota artist Jerome Ryan, depicted a more businesslike Betty Crocker, symbolizing American women’s newly significant role outside the home.

1972 Betty Crocker Portrait

The 1980 version, however, has a softened image with more casual coiffure and clothing, allowing all women to more readily identify with her.

1980 Betty Crocker Portrait

In 1986, New York artist Harriet Perchik portrayed Betty Crocker as a professional woman, approachable, friendly, competent and as comfortable in the boardroom as she is in the dining room.

1986 Betty Crocker Portrait

For her 75th anniversary in 1996, a nationwide search found 75 women of diverse backgrounds and ages who embody the characteristics of Betty Crocker. The characteristics that make up the spirit of Betty Crocker are: enjoys cooking and baking; committed to family and friends; resourceful and creative in handling everyday tasks; and involved in her community. A computerized composite of the 75 women, along with the 1986 portrait of Betty, served as inspiration for the painting by internationally known artist John Stuart Ingle. The portrait was unveiled March 19, 1996, in New York City.

1996 Betty Crocker Portrait