Thursday, July 20, 2017

Jazz Club: Julian de Miskey Proposed New Yorker Cover Art

Julian de Miskey's biographical page on the Papillon Gallery website is illustrated with "Jazz Club," a proposed New Yorker magazine cover, we are plausibly told. The artwork is extraordinarily energetic, overrunning its borders on all four sides. The palette is dominated by reds and browns; the composition has exaggerated diagonals going off to the right and to the left. Animated horn players seen from above occupy the foreground, slender and angulated dancers fill the middle ground, and seated club-goers provide a simple line of perspective at the back.

Julian de Miskey, Jazz Club, c. 1928

De Miskey's published New Yorker cover of June 6, 1925—his second and the magazine's sixteenth—makes for an interesting comparison with "Jazz Club." It's basically the same subject, highly-stylized but by comparison far more static and with a more conventional use of space. It is designed for a two-color press, the magazine's financial constraints being paramount in its early days. The evident similarity with the circa 1928 cover proposal possibly may have precluded the latter's use.
Julian de Miskey, The New Yorker, June 6, 1925
Instead, the magazine may have gone with a more humorous take on the 1928 jazz scene, one which remained somewhat stylized but which focused on the activity at the tables in the night club rather than on the dance floor. By now, the magazine's covers are printed in four colors—and this one's the bee's knees!
Julian de Miskey, The New Yorker, January 14, 1928

The Papillon Gallery has useful biographical information on de Miskey:

  Attempted Bloggery would love for readers to provide scans or photos of more original art by Julian de Miskey and for more proposed but rejected New Yorker cover art, particularly from published artists.

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