Monday, March 01, 2010

And Now For Something Completely Political

Monday Cartoon Day

Between 1945 and 1949 Al Hirschfeld did the cover for the American political monthly The American Mercury. According to wikipedia the magazine was founded in 1924 by H. L. Mencken and drama critic George Jean Nathan and it was a platform for political essays by the nations most important writers. In 1945, while editing the magazine, Lawrence Spivak created a radio program called American Mercury Presents Meet the Press. Brought to television on November 6, 1947, the show shed the first three words of its name — and remains the single longest-running news program in television, a fixture on NBC every Sunday.

Hirschfeld color covers must have been a big attraction as well, although most of the people caricatured won't mean anything to us today. I have quite a few of these magazines, more than I can show here, but scanning them in takes quite a bit of time, so I will have to give you the rest later. I don't remember ever seeing them in any of the Hirschfeld books, but given the fact that he did this for several years, they must at least have been mentioned. And Hirschfeld caricature of Roosevelt must have been reprinted somewhere. Hirschfeld did less and less in the later years until finally the regular art editor Adler took over the covers in Hirschfeld's style. I do recall reading he was quite displeased by that.


Alex said...

Hirschfeld appeared in LIFE, most of the art associated with theater and movies. They're worth a look.

August 2 1937
p6-7, 9: Al Hirschfeld; "Speaking of Pictures...these are photo-doodles"; Hirschfeld transforms photo of famous people into other famous people, i.e. Gertrude Stein into Albert Einstein

November 3 1941
p7: Al Hirschfeld; "Suspicion" movie ad with small caricature of Alfred Hitchcock

November 22 1943
p83: Al Hirschfeld; "Thousands Cheer" movie ad with 18 caricatures

November 11 1946
p116-117: Al Hirschfeld; "Lindsay & Crouse"

August 9 1948
p12: Al Hirschfeld; "A Foreign Affair" movie ad

November 1 1948
p104: Al Hirschfeld; "Miss Tatlock's Millions" movie ad's+Millions&lr=lang_en&as_pt=MAGAZINES&cd=5#v=onepage&q=Miss%20Tatlock's%20Millions&f=false

November 8 1948
p112: Al Hirschfeld; "Miss Tatlock's Millions" movie ad's+Millions&lr=lang_en&as_pt=MAGAZINES&cd=1#v=onepage&q=william%20bendix%20Miss%20Tatlock's%20Millions&f=false

November 15 1948
p122: Al Hirschfeld; "Miss Tatlock's Millions" movie ad

November 22 1948
p21: Al Hirschfeld; "Miss Tatlock's Millions" movie ad

February 16 1953
p48: Al Hirschfeld; background drawing for Anita Loos in Ballantine Ale ad's+best+friend&lr=lang_en&as_pt=MAGAZINES&cd=10#v=onepage&q=&f=false

Tedley said...



Like everyone else, I'm familiar with Hisrchfeld's line drawings. But these -- these are breathtaking! Thank you for posting them.. said...

Mercury Press continued to exist as the publisher of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction at least until 2001, when that magazine was sold to Spilogale. I don't know whether Mercury Press exists at all now.

Ger Apeldoorn said...


Mercury Press also started Ellery Queen magazine, but I think they sold that as well.

Bhob said...

Little known fact: Mercury Press also had its own humor magazine. Charles Angoff, the managing editor of The American Mercury, also edited the humor publication, which (as well as I can establish) was titled The Book of Wit & Humor. Mercury published at least one issue in 1953, using the same cover stock and digest-size format as Ellery Queen's and F&SF. I once owned this magazine, and I'd love to see it again if anyone has a copy.

Bhob @ Potrzebie