Friday, June 14, 2013

Autumn Squirrel: Abe Birnbaum New Yorker Cover Art

Original New Yorker cover artwork by Abe Birnbaum has been captured on a Kodachrome slide from 1955. Note how important the small squirrel is to the success of the composition. The published cover appears somehow to have deeper red highlights than the image of the original painting preserved on the slide.

The eBay seller, after listing three previous such slides unblemished, has finally remembered to mar the image with a watermark. Rather than using the watermark to brand the image with his seller name, an ugly but widespread commercial practice, he's instead used the word watermark itself, the defacement of this rare image for the non-purchaser being the sole objective.

Abe Birnbaum, Original Artwork for The New Yorker, October 8, 1955

Abe Birnbaum, The New Yorker, October 8, 1955

Note:  It occurs to me that some of the original New Yorker cover art I'm discussing this week, including this fine seasonal cover by Abe Birnbaum, is quite probably still around somewhere being enjoyed in private collections. If you know of the current whereabouts of any of these pieces and would like to give this blog's readers an update on them, including perhaps notes on their condition or their personal meaning for you, please contact me at my email address.


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