Art Deco Bookplate Mexican Vanity Fair Artist Miguel Covarrubias C.1930 For Sale
Please enjoy a selection of fine bookplates all dating from the 1880 - 1925 period. All are 100% genuine ex libris from the period, as stated. I have a significant changing stock of items, many plates by artists not currently shown. Do feel free to contact with any questions or wishes you may have.
Artist: José Miguel Covarrubias Duclaud (1904 Mexico City — 1957 Mexico City).
Signature / Monogram: Signed in the plate lower–centre right.
Recipient: Donald S Friede
Date: C. 1930
Sheet size: 70 mm x54 mm
Plate size:63 mm x47 mm
Paper type: Line block on brown paper.
Condition: Excellent front and verso.
José Miguel Covarrubias Duclaud (1904 Mexico City — 1957 Mexico City). Mexican painter and caricaturist, ethnologist and art historian. Following his graduation from the Escuela Nacional Preparatoria in 1918 Covarrubias dedicated himself to drawing. He produced caricatures and illustrations for both the Mexican Secretariat of Public Education as well as the Secretariat of Communications. In 1924 he moved to New York City with the assistance of a grant from the Mexican government. Although he possessed very little English he was soon drawing for several top magazines including Fortune and The New Yorker. He eventually became one of Vanity Fair magazine's premier caricaturists.
A man of many talents, he began to design sets and costumes for the theater including Caroline Dudley Reagan's La Revue Negre starring Josephine Baker in the show that made her a smash in Paris. Other shows included the Garrick Gaities' Rancho Mexicano number for dancer and choreographer Rosa Rolando, who later became his wife. The two travelled to Mexico, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean in the mid to late 1920s. During one of their trips to Mexico, Rosa and Miguel travelled with Edward Weston who taught Rosa photography. Rosa was also introduced to Miguel's family and friends including artist Diego Rivera. Rosa would become lifelong friends with Rivera's second wife, the artist Frida Kahlo.
The linear nature of Covarrubias’ drawing style was highly influential to other caricaturists of the day such as Al Hirschfeld and his first book of caricatures, ‘The Prince of Wales and Other Famous Americans’, was very successful. He immediately fell in love with the Harlem jazz scene, which he and Rosa frequented along with friends including Eugene O'Neill and Nickolas Muray. He counted many notables among his friends including Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes and W.C. Handy, for whom he also illustrated books. Covarrubias’ caricatures of the jazz clubs were the first of their kind to be printed in Vanity Fair. He managed to capture the spirit of the Harlem Renaissance in much of his work as well as in his book, ‘Negro Drawings’. He did not consider them to be caricatures, rather serious drawings of people, music and a culture, whom he loved. Covarrubias also did illustrations for George Macy, the publisher of The Limited Editions Club. He is not only known for his analysis of the pre-Columbian art of Mesoamerica, particularly that of the Olmec culture, but also his theory of Mexican cultural diffusion to the north, particularly to the Mississippian Native American Indian cultures.
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Art Deco Bookplate Mexican Vanity Fair Artist Miguel Covarrubias C.1930: $54