Former New Yorker Art/Cartoon Editor Lee Lorenz at The Westport Historical Society



From the Westport Historical Society, “A Conversation with Lee Lorenz”  (there was an Ink Spill notice about this event a few days ago, but the Society hadn’t added it to their site at the time — the link above takes you to the WHS homepage).

As noted in the WHS post I hope to cover a lot of territory with Mr. Lorenz during our talk. His 56 years (and counting) with The New Yorker include 20 years as the magazine’s Art Editor (editing cartoons and covers) and then another 4 years as its Cartoon Editor.

Rea Irvin Parodies His Eustace Tilley New Yorker Cover



An exceptionally generous friend of Ink Spill recently donated a bundle of rare New Yorker ephemera to the archives. I’ll post some from time-to-time, beginning with this wonderful parody of the New Yorker‘s very first cover.  There have been a number of parodies of the Eustace Tilley cover over the years, but until this piece arrived in the mail I’d only seen one other Tilley parody executed by Rea Irvin, the man responsible for the magazine’s inaugural cover.  In 1926 he designed a cover for an in-house parody of the magazine — Harold Ross, the magazine’s founder, was Tilley.

The Jonkey Club founded in 1949, was designed to entertain tourists while bringing in charity funds. The big event, held on Washington’s birthday, involved a donkey race, with donkeys decked out in elaborate and colorful costumes.



Below: Irvin’s Ink Spill entry


Rea Irvin  (pictured above. Self portrait above from Meet the Artist) Born, San Francisco, 1881; died in the Virgin Islands,1972. Irvin was the cover artist for the New Yorker’s first issue, February 21, 1925.  He was the magazine’s  first art editor, holding the position from 1925 until 1939 when James Geraghty assumed the title. Irvin became art director and remained in that position until William Shawn succeeded Harold Ross. Irvin’s last original work for the magazine was the magazine’s cover of July 12, 1958. The February 21, 1925 Eustace Tilley cover had been reproduced every year on the magazine’s anniversary until 1994, when R. Crumb’s Tilley-inspired cover appeared. Tilley has since reappeared, with other artists substituting from time-to-time.


“A Conversation with Lee Lorenz” at The Westport Historical Society

Lee Lorenz ( Pictured above. Photograph taken in 1995 by Liza Donnelly).

The Westport Historical Society, which has an ongoing exhibit, “The New Yorker in Westport,”  will present “A Conversation with Lee Lorenz”  on June 21st, at 4:00pm.  I’m delighted to be hosting the event, and look forward to sitting down with Mr. Lorenz for a talk about his long career at The New Yorker (he began contributing in 1958), his years as Art Editor and later, Cartoon Editor.

This event is not yet on the WHS calendar but please check out their website in the meantime.

Below is Ink Spill‘s “New Yorker Cartoonists A-Z” entry for Mr. Lorenz:

Born 1932, Hackensack, NJ. Lorenz was the art editor of The New Yorker from 1973 to 1993 and its cartoon editor until 1997. During his tenure, a new wave of New Yorker cartoonists began appearing in the magazine — cartoonists who no longer depended on idea men. Cartoon collections: Here It Comes (Bobbs-Merrrill Co., Inc. 1968) ; Now Look What You’ve Done! (Pantheon, 1977) ; The Golden Age of Trash ( Chronicle Books, 1987); The Essential series, all published by Workman: : Booth (pub: 1998), Barsotti ( pub: 1998), Ziegler (pub: 2001), The Art of The New Yorker 1925 -1995, (Knopf, 1995), The World of William Steig (Artisan, 1998). NYer work: 1958 — present.