Thursday, July 2, 2015

Leading Schoolboys: Mischa Richter Proposed New Yorker Cover Art

A color illustration by Mischa Richter features Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty leading a few well-off schoolboys in private school uniforms to America, or at least to a map of the lower forty-eight. We are told by Swann Auction Galleries that this is a proposed NewYorker cover illustration, but what exactly is being depicted? It doesn't seem to be a commentary on public schools, integration, or immigration, to name a few of the hot-button topics of the postwar decades. It can't simply be about school uniforms. It does look as if Lady Liberty is speaking and Uncle Sam is reacting to her statement. Perhaps this is a color gag cartoon not intended for the New Yorker at all that has come down to us missing its caption. The problem with that conjecture is that there is clearly enough space for a magazine logo across the top.

Mischa Richter. Proposed New Yorker cover art

Swann Auction Galleries, January 22, 2015
Sale 2372, Lot 199

Note:  Whenever you're feeling rejected, just take a look at some of the great proposed New Yorker cover art that the magazine turned down.

Mischa Richter's art can be enjoyed at various places around the blog but by itself should not be used as an introduction to America.

Finally, here's how to get ready for the 4th of July. Hint: it involves appropriately-themed patriotic posts on this blog.


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