Friday, April 25, 2014

A Chorus Girl's Eyelashes: Constantin Alajálov New Yorker Cover Art

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute boasts seven works by illustrator Constantin Alajálov, no fewer than five of which are fine examples of original New Yorker cover art. Clearly, this was a carefully-assembled group that may well have been donated by the artist himself. Otherwise, it's hard to imagine how so many superb pieces came to be together in one collection. Often museums indicate who donated a work or else what particular fund was used to purchase that work. This kind of information seems to be absent from the Clark's website, at least for these Alajálov pieces. It's always possible the museum may even have been aware all along that these are New Yorker pieces but it simply wasn't indicated on the website.

Just in case the Museum doesn't know about these magazine illustrations, though, I'm going to continue my stint as uninvited volunteer guest curator. Yes, I finally have given myself a title. It sounds so much more impressive than Blogger at Large.

This piece is identified on the Clark's website as Chorus Girl Putting on False Eyelashes. I have been accepting of these titles for the most part because I believe they might possibly have originated with the artist. I'm more leery of the Clark's subject keywords, which in this case include Interior Spaces. I just don't find that particularly helpful.

Constantin Alajálov, Chorus Girl Putting on False Eyelashes,
Collection of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
Chorus Girl Putting on False Eyelashes Museum Description,
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

Finally, your guest curator pretends to earn his keep by relabeling the piece as original magazine cover art:
Constantin Alajálov, Original artwork, The New Yorker, April 3, 1948,
Collection of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

Constantin Alajálov, The New Yorker, April 3, 1948

Okay. I'm ready for my close-up.

Note:  Read more on the New Yorker work of Constantin Alajálov here. I'll get to his other stuff soon, I promise.

Additional examples of original New Yorker cover art may be seen here.


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