The New Yorker is known for its covers. Without resorting to a rotating list of celebrities, the magazine has become iconic for it’s brilliant drawings, often with tongue-in-cheek references to current events. The one recurring figure (besides New York) is Eustace Tilley. The dandyish character (kind of yesteryear’s metrosexual) first appeared in 1925 and is featured every year on the magazine’s anniversary cover. Over time, the New Yorker has allowed for several interpretations of Eustace Tilley to be depicted on the cover. And it fits, because New Yorkers are anything but a monolith. They may be cultured or self absorbed or snobby or downright NASTY.
This year, for the 90th anniversary, Mr. Tilley is showing up in multiple personalities like only a New Yorker could. Nine artists were chosen to present their interpreation of Eustace Tilley. The artists given the honor of altering everyone’s favorite dandy are: Kadir Nelson, Carter Goodrich, Anita Kunz, Roz Chast, Barry Blitt, Istvan Banyai, Lorenzo Mattotti, Peter Mendelsund, and Christoph Niemann. And it only fits.
Check the gallery below for the covers. All images taken from the New Yorker website.
Johnson Publishing Company was founded in 1942 by John H. Johnson and started with the publication of the Negro Digest. Eventually, the company would publish their flagship publications, Ebony and Jet.
Speaking of People: Ebony, Jet, and Contemporary Art is currently an exhibit at the Studio Museum of Harlem that features art informed by the information in these pages. The title of the exhibit gets its name from a monthly feature in Ebony Magazine where updates on prominent African Americans were featured. The catalogue for the exhibit features essays by prominent artists. Artists featured in the exhibit include Ellen Gallagher, Theaster Gates, Lyle Ashton Harris, Glenn Ligon, Kerry James Marshall, Ayanah Moor, Lorna Simpson, Martine Syms, Hank Willis Thomas, and Mickalene Thomas.
Recent news that Johnson Publishing Company is selling it’s photo archives, makes the exhibit even more resonant.
Speaking of People: Ebony, Jet, and Contemporary Art is on display at the Studio Museum of Harlem through March 8, 2015.