Some Favorite Summertime New Yorker Covers

This hot and humid long 4th of July weekend makes me think of specific favorite summertime New Yorker covers. The choices are good and plenty when one decides to select a few favorites from the magazine’s 94 years; for every one shown here, there are at least five more that fall into the fave category — these half dozen are but a fraction of the magazine’s superb summertime covers.

It’s perhaps worth noting that each of the artists below contributed both cartoons and covers to The New Yorker. They all hail from the pre-Tina Brown days when more than 60% of the magazine’s covers were contributed by its cartoonists (a reasonable guess would be that the % now of the magazine’s cartoonists contributing covers is somewhere in the low single digits).

This August 4th 1945 Mary Petty cover has always been a first thought when summer arrives.  The simple quiet moment Ms. Petty gives us during a particularly horrendous moment in history has always fascinated me. This scan doesn’t do justice to Ms. Petty’s watercolors.

Whenever I think of summertime and beaches I think of this Ludwig Bemelmans July 13, 1946  cover. Most will think of Mr. Bemelmans and immediately recall his Madeline books, but his contribution of 32 New Yorker covers was substantial

Here’s a beauty by Anatol Kovarsky from August 2, 1969. If you look through Mr. Kovarsky’s New Yorker covers you’ll see he often returned to aerial views. I’ve always found it amusing that he focused here on the parking lot, with the beach and ocean as supporting players.

Charles Addams’s cover shown below was published the very next week after Mr. Kovarsky’s. It reminds me of the summers during the years I lived in Manhattan, especially the days I headed up to The New Yorker‘s office to drop off my weekly batch of cartoons. The city never seemed hotter, the sidewalks never stickier, the non-air conditioned subway cars never sootier, than on those trips between my apartment in Greenwich Village and 25 West 43rd Street.

 

There are so many wonderful New Yorker baseball covers, but this one by Garrett Price is a particular favorite. 

Finally, this spectacular July 4th 1953 cover by Alajalov.

Here are the Spill’s A-Z entries for each of the above artists. 

 

 

 

 

Mary Petty  Born, Hampton, New Jersey, April 29, 1899. Died, Paramus, New Jersey, March, 1976. New Yorker work: October 22, 1927 – March 19, 1966. Collection: This Petty Place ( Knopf, 1945) with a Preface by James Thurber.

 

Ludwig Bemelmans  Born, April 27, 1898. Died, October 1, 1962. New Yorker work: contributed six cartoons and thirty-two covers as well written pieces in a New Yorker career that began in October of 1937 and lasted until August 1962. He achieved lasting fame with his Madeline childrens books.

 

 

Anatol Kovarsky (photo: NYC, 2013. By Liza Donnelly) Born, Moscow. Died, June 1, 2016, NYC. Collection: Kovarsky’s World (Knopf, 1956) New Yorker work: 1947 -1969. Link to Ink Spill’s  2013 piece, “Anatol Kovarsky at 94: Still Drawing After All These Years”

 

 

Charles Addams  Born in Westfield, New Jersey, January  7, 1912. Died September 29, 1988, New York City. New Yorker work: 1932 – 1988 * the New Yorker has published his work posthumously. One of the giants of The New Yorker’s  stable of artists.  Key cartoon collections: While all of Addams’ collections are worthwhile, here are three that are particular favorites; Homebodies (Simon & Schuster, 1954), The Groaning Board (Simon & Schuster, 1964), Creature Comforts (Simon & Schuster, 1981). In 1991 Knopf published The World of Chas Addams, a retrospective collection. Visit the Addams Foundation website for far more information : http://www.charlesaddams.com/

 

Garrett Price ( Photo Source: Esquire Cartoon Album, 1957) Born, 1897, Bucyrus, Kansas. Died, April, 1979, Norwalk, Conn. Collection: Drawing Room Only / A Book of Cartoons (Coward -McCann, 1946). New Yorker work: 1925 -1974.

 

 

Constantin Alajalov  Born Constantin Aladjalov, 1900, Rostov-on-the-Don, Russia. Died Oct., 1987, Amenia, New York. New Yorker work: 1926 -1960. Perhaps best known for his New Yorker covers ( he also supplied cover art to other publications). Key collection: Conversation Pieces (The Studio Publications Inc., 1942) w/ commentary by Janet Flanner. A profile from The Saturday Evening Post.

A Kovarsky Scarf; Checking In On A New Yorker State Of Mind; Video Interview Of Interest: Edward Koren; Event Of Interest In Chicago: Ken Krimstein’s “Three Escapes Of Hannah Arendt”; Today’s New Yorker Daily Cartoonist: Brendan Loper

A detail from Attempted Bloggery

Attempted Bloggery looks at an Anatol Kovarsky scarf (perhaps the beginning of a cartoon clothing and accessories series?). Read here!

Mr. Kovarsky’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

Anatol Kovarsky (photo above, NYC, 2013. By Liza Donnelly) Born, Moscow. Died, June 1, 2016, NYC. Collection: Kovarsky’s World (Knopf, 1956) New Yorker work: 1947 -1969. Link to Ink Spill’s  2013 piece, “Anatol Kovarsky at 94: Still Drawing After All These Years”

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Checking In On A New Yorker State Of Mind

With the Westminster Dog Show champion recently named, what better time to head over to A New Yorker State of Mind’s fascinating post covering the above issue of February 8, 1930. The cover artist: TheodoreHaupt.

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Video Interview of Interest: Edward Koren

From PBS Vermont, this video interview with Edward Koren, first aired April 13, 2003.

Mr. Koren began contributing to The New Yorker in 1962. Link here to his website.

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Event of Interest in Chicago: Ken Krimstein’s “Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt”

Opening in March, an exhibit of work from Ken Krimstein’s excellent Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt. All the info here.

Mr. Krimstein began contributing to The New Yorker in 2000. Link here to his website.

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Today’s Daily Cartoon

Trump today, of course. Brendan Loper handles the national emergency. Mr. Loper began contributing to The New Yorker in 2016.

“The Brightest Thought of Many Bright Minds”: The 1940 New Yorker Album

From the inside flap copy of this album: “The brightest thought of many bright minds”…well, heck, I’m not going to argue with that. Published by Random House in 1939, and using Peter Arno’s New Yorker cover from January 1938, this is the last of the Albums produced before the Unites States entered WWII.  The cover depicts a Cafe Society moment, an Arno specialty that faded as the war years began.

 

The flap copy shown below tells the story of what to expect, cartoon quality-wise (and “Spot” drawings–wise). These are the founding mothers & fathers of the New Yorker single panel.  In just a few years, and throughout the 1940s, they’d be joined by a number of additional giants of the field, including  Steinberg, Frank Modell, Sam Cobean, Dana Fradon, Anatol Kovarsky, Roberta MacDonald, Mischa Richter, and Charles Saxon. This album also, in a way, marks the end of the earlier incarnation of the magazine’s art department and the beginning of the editorship of James Geraghty. His hiring in 1939 led to the organization of the art department into an actual department, with an editor (Geraghty) devoted to the artists (all the artists: cartoonists, cover artists, spot artists). That model stayed intact under Mr. Geraghty, and then his successor, Lee Lorenz, until Tina Brown split the art department in 1993, creating  the titles, Cartoon Editor (Mr. Lorenz’s new title), and Art Editor (Francoise Mouly was hired and given that title, with the responsibility of overseeing the cover art).  

Being a Thurberite I can’t help but mentioning that two of my all-time favorite Thurber drawings (actually, I love all of his drawings) are included in this volume:

“Ooooo, guesties!” (shown in this link, upper right of the page).

“Well, if I called the wrong number, why did you answer the phone?”

There is no introduction to this album, nor any flap copy other than that shown above. The production is top-shelf, with heavy paper and a flawless lay-out. This album is easily found on Abebooks.com for very little. The back cover, shown below, is given over to a drawing by the great Helen Hokinson.

 

“A Source of Very Special Delight” — The New Yorker Album of Sports & Games; An Ink Spill Super Bowl Tradition

Just in time for two giant sports happenings: the Super Bowl, and the Winter Olympics: The New Yorker Album of Sports & Games.  At the bottom of today’s post an Ink Spill Super Bowl Sunday tradition with a football-related drawing of mine from some time back. 

It only took sixteen years following the first themed New Yorker album of drawings  (that would be The War Album, published in 1942) for a second to appear.  Deftly designed by Carmine Peppe (spelled “Carmin” in this album for some reason), who William Shawn described as “the one make-up editor in the world who could provide [Harold Ross] with the chaste and lovely pages that would properly set off whatever we published.” I love how Mr. Peppe placed Rea Irvin‘s Tilley all over the place, on the front and on the back cover. He knew an icon when he saw one.

Curiously, although there are plenty of cartoons about sports featured in both Summer & Winter Olympics,  there is not one cartoon specifically related  to the Olympics. No matter. No one can fault an album delivering large doses of work by, among many others, Mary Petty, Charles Addams, Thurber, Steinberg, Steig, Helen Hokinson, Anatol Kovarsky, Peter Arno, Barbara Shermund, George Price, and Charles Saxon.  Looking through you’ll see at least two themes rarely seen in the magazine these days: mountain climbing and moose hunting (although Charles Addams’ drawing of a moose driving a car down a mountain road with a hunter tied to the front fender could surely appear now).  There are an awful lot of drawings about mountain climbing — I guess everyone took a shot at those back then.

From the inside flap copy (there is no Introduction):

“Almost anyone who has ever been involved in sports and games, either as a participant or from the sidelines, will find this collection a source of very special delight”

For those wanting to add this album to their collection, it’s easy to find.  I just went over to AbeBooks.com and found a copy with its dust jacket for about four bucks. Deal!

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And here, continuing an Ink Spill  Super Bowl Sunday tradition, is a drawing of mine that appeared in the October 16, 2006 issue of The New Yorker.

 

 

The Tilley Watch Online; Photos from the Kovarsky Opening; “Not OK” Cartoonists in Westchester

Among the magazine’s Daily cartoons this week:  Kim Warp’s weary winter weather drawing; Brendan Loper’s tweeter-in-chief cartoon;  Lars Kenseth’s  take on this week’s  unusual White House media moment, and Peter Kuper’s Trumpian map of the world.   

Over on Daily Shouts, these were the contributing New Yorker cartoonists: Ellis Rosen and Liana Finck

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Photos From the Kovarsky Opening at The Society of Illustrators

A packed house last night at the Society of Illustrators Opening Reception for Kovarsky’s World: Covers and Cartoons From the New Yorker. Here’s an array of photos (all by Liza Donnelly, with one exception: the photo of Liza Donnelly and her husband– that’s courtesy of Gina Kovarsky)

Above: a wall of Kovarskys.

Below: Anatol Kovarsky’s daughter, Gina, and Mr. Kovarsky’s wife, Lucille Patton; Ellen Lind and John Lind.  Gina Kovarsky and John Lind co-curated the exhibit.

Below: New Yorker cartoonists Sam Gross and Felipe Galindo

Below: New Yorker cartoonists Liza Donnelly and Michael Maslin

Below: Sam Gross and New Yorker cartoonist Bob Eckstein

Below: Writer/illustrator Mo Willems, Columbia University’s Curator for Comics and Cartoons, Karen Green, and John Lind

 

A closing thought on the exhibit, which runs til March 3 of this year:

This is a terrific show.  The energy bouncing off Mr. Kovarsky’s work on the walls is inspiring.   After looking at all of the covers and drawings I went back and spent more time looking at Mr. Kovarsky’s very first cartoon for the New Yorker.  It was published in the issue of March 1, 1947; here’s how it appeared:

I’ve always had a special affection for first New Yorker drawings.  It is, as they say, a moment.  Every cartoonist remembers the details surrounding their first published drawing. The unspoken mini-drama surrounding the first is that no one knows, of course, whether there’ll be a second (see the Spill‘s One Clubbers on the A-Z).  In Mr. Kovarsky’s case there was a second, and then there were hundreds more — close to 300 in fact. If that wasn’t something impressive in itself, he also contributed 40 covers.  And all this work was done in the relatively short time span of twenty-two years (according to Gina Kovarsky: “In the 1970s, Kovarsky shifted his main focus from cartooning to fine art…”).  It will not come as a surprise to anyone seeing this exhibit how Kovarsky accomplished so much in a mere two decades. It is as if he never set his pen or his brush down for a moment. Kovarsky’s world seemed to be abuzz 24/7. How lucky for us all.   

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“Not OK” Cartoonists in Westchester

From Westchester Magazine, January 12, 2018, “You Can Meet New Yorker Cartoonists…”

 Here’s a capsule description from the article:

“Not OK” — Great Cartoons That Weren’t Good Enough is a collection of works by previous New Yorker-published cartoonists that fit exactly that bill. Curated by artist and Brooklynite David Ostow, this series has come to Westchester for a month-long showing following the completion of its original gallery run in Bushwick.