The Forgotten Caricatures of Miguel Covarrubias

A R T L▼R K

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On the 22nd of November 1904, artist, art historian and anthropologist J. M. Covarrubias Duclaud (d. 1957) was born in Mexico City. Being offered a special government grant from his country at the age of 19, Covarrubias  was able to move to New York in 1924 where his talent was quickly discovered by his compatriot poet Tablada and the New York Times critic and photographer Carl Van Vechten, who introduced him to the N.Y. ‘smart set’, opening up avenues to a very successful artistic career in the media. The latter notably said that, “From the beginning I was amazed at [Covarrubias’ ability] to size up a person on a blank sheet of paper at once; there is a certain clairvoyance in this”. Many of his illustrations were celebrity, public figure or political satire caricatures for important magazines such as Vanity Fair, whose premier staff cartoonist he became…

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