Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Dinner Party Conversation: Constantin Alajálov New Yorker Cover Art

Born in Rostov, Russia in 1900, Constantin Alajálov landed in New York in 1923, and became a U.S. citizen in 1926. By 1939, when this New Yorker cover was published, he seemed to have enough of a command of English to satirize affected dinner party conversation. The seated guests are having a "perfectly grand time," to use one of the illustration's own lines, surrounded by a miasma of pretentious phrases. But are the words actually Alajálov's or did he have assistance from the magazine's editorial department?

Constantin Alajálov, Original cover art, The New Yorker, January 7, 1939
Reproduced in Illustration #23, page 72
Constantin Alajálov, The New Yorker, January 7, 1939

Note:  I've been admiring the art of Constantin Alajálov here for about six weeks now and still my little survey is not quite ready to draw to a close.

Some of my favorite blog posts feature original New Yorker cover art. I don't see how anyone can get enough of this.


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