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    Description

    Miguel Covarrubias (Mexican, 1904-1957)
    Cooking Up the New Deal, Vanity Fair cover, November 1934
    Gouache and pencil on paper
    15 x 11-3/4 inches (38.1 x 29.8 cm) (sight)
    Signed lower left: Covarrubias

    PROVENANCE:
    The artist;
    Vanity Fair, Condé Nast Publishing, commissioned from the above;
    Alexander Liberman, Editorial Director of Condé Nast publishing;
    Lloyd Ziff, Art Director of Vanity Fair, gift from the above, March 1983.

    EXHIBITED:
    Mary-Anne Martin Fine Art, New York, 2017;
    Throckmorton Fine Art, New York, 2018-2019.


    Miguel Covarrubias was a man of many talents - artist, theatre designer, and anthropologist. In 1924, at the age of nineteen, Covarrubias moved from Mexico to New York, to be closer to the epicenter of the progressive art scene. Through introductions by fellow Mexican artists/writers Jose Juan Tablada and Carl Van Vecten, the artist was quickly accepted into the intellectual and artistic group known as "The Smart Set." In 1925, Covarrubias published a book of caricatures, The Prince of Wales and Other Famous Americans, which was met with immediate critical acclaim. His blend of modernist abstraction and art deco lines, paired with playful manipulation of perspective, garnered his success. Soon, the artist's celebrity and political caricatures were featured within The New Yorker and Vanity Fair magazines, as well as on their covers.

    Utilizing a bright, patriotic palette and classic art deco lines, Cooking Up the New Deal places Covarrubias' skill and style on full display. The artist's choice of subject makes it clear that he considered President Franklin Delano Roosevelt a modern-day protagonist of the everyman. Spearheaded by F.D.R., The New Deal was a sequence of relief, regulations, and reforms aimed towards providing recovery from the Great Depression. At the time, there were numerous critiques on these programs and how the President went about enacting them. Covarrubias' tongue-in-cheek rendition of President Roosevelt with a jaunty chef's hat delivering a smiling American eagle "New Deal" on a silver platter adds more than a touch of whimsical humor to a serious issue. The curvilinear lines of age in direct contrast to the sharp nose of the President invites a direct comparison to the eagle's beak, suggesting the American mascot and the President are one and the same, both being offered up to the American people. The message evoked might be read as a positive or a negative, depending on the viewer's political leanings.

    Like much of the most successful Golden Age Illustrations, Cooking Up the New Deal is open to interpretation and invites the viewer to think, defining the present work as a classic, definitive, and timely Vanity Fair cover.


    Condition Report*: Light overall paper discoloration, most notably along edges of mat; a few tiny pinpoints of more notable discoloration/possible accretions in letters.
    Framed Dimensions 23 X 19.5 Inches
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    July, 2020
    1st Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,055

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