Monday, January 13, 2014

Numerals 1980: Paul Degen Proposed New Yorker Cover Art

For the New Year of 1980, Paul Degen submitted this cover proposal to the New Yorker. Anthropomorphic numerals representing 1980 make their stage entrance. The artist has roughly sketched the magazine's logo across the top, and incorporated the magazine's characteristic strap as a part of the curtain along the left-hand border. Often it is fruitless to speculate as to why a given submission was not used, but in this case I think the idea is a little too close to a lively cover by André François from five years earlier with the numerals of the old and new year performing acrobatics in a circus setting.

Paul Degen, Proposed cover illustration for the New Yorker, 1979

André François, The New Yorker, December 30, 1974

Paul Degen, Proposed cover illustration for the New Yorker, 1979

The actual published cover for the New Year 1980 was by Edward Koren:
Edward Koren, The New Yorker, December 31, 1979

January 15, 2017 Update:  The offering price remains 300 G.B.P., but the corresponding price in U.S. dollars has come down by about $110 over the past three years.
eBay Listing as of January 15, 2017

Note:  More posts about Paul Degen may be seen here, while posts about André François are here and about Edward Koren here.

I have been calling them proposed New Yorker covers because the term sounds positive, but they are rejections by any other name. You can see a few more of them over here.


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