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Miguel Covarrubias

Edward Jean Steichen, 27 Mar 1879 - 25 Mar 1973
Miguel Covarrubias, 22 Nov 1904 - 4 Feb 1957
Gelatin silver print
Image: 24.1 x 19.2cm (9 1/2 x 7 9/16")
Sheet: 25.3 x 20.2cm (9 15/16 x 7 15/16")
Mat: 55.9 x 40.6cm (22 x 16")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; acquired in memory of Agnes and Eugene Meyer through the generosity of Katharine Graham and the New York Community Trust, The Island Fund
Restrictions & Rights
© The Estate of Edward Steichen / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY
Object number
Exhibition Label
When the vogue for celebrity caricature was at its zenith in the 1920s and 1930s, Mexican-born artist Miguel Covarrubias ranked as one of the genre's most inventive and witty practitioners. Although he was only eighteen when he arrived in New York in 1923, Covarrubias quickly made connections among the leaders of the art world. A grouping of his distinctive and disarming caricatures debuted in Vanity Fair in January 1924 under the heading, "A Pungent Page of Character Studies from the Pen of a Newcomer." Covarrubias published a collection of sixty-six of his celebrity caricatures the following year in the humorously titled volume The Prince of Wales and Other Famous Americans, and from that moment his popularity grew exponentially. His caricatures remained a fixture in Vanity Fair and in numerous other venues until the mid-1930s, when a consuming interest in anthropological and ethnological studies eclipsed Covarrubias's commitment to the art of caricature.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection