A Robert Benchley / Rea Irvin Rarity

Here’s something fun for a rainy, snowy, icy Sunday (at least that’s what it’s like outside here at Spill central). A rare Robert Benchley title from 1929,  with illustrations by the (then) New Yorker art supervisor, Rea Irvin.

A brief bio of Mr. Irvin from the Spill‘s A-Z:

Rea Irvin (pictured above).  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 few scans below. 

Busy In Conference appears here courtesy of David Pomerantz and Steve Stoliar, the author of Raised Eyebrows: My Years Inside Groucho’s House (Mr. Stoliar worked there as a secretary and personal archivist).

Happy Birthday, Edward Koren!

Birthday hats off to one of The New Yorker‘s great artists, Edward Koren, born on this day in 1935.  Mr. Koren began contributing to The New Yorker in 1962. Since his debut he’s contributed over 1000 cartoons and numerous covers to the magazine.

Below: a fave Koren New Yorker cover.  Published December 31, 1979.

 Below: his latest collection of cartoons.



Fave Photo Of The Day: Eckstein & Finck

From the Liana Finck and Bob Eckstein joint appearance last night at the Barnes & Noble at 86th & Lexington.  Their respective (new) books can be seen on the big screen behind them.

Ms. Finck began contributing to The New Yorker in 2013.

Mr. Eckstein began contributing to The New Yorker in 2007.

— photo courtesy of Bob Eckstein