Illustrations: ‘The New Yorker Cover’ (1925-2020)

For The New Yorker’s ninety-sixth anniversary, Sergio García Sánchez draws the magazine’s trademark dandy, Eustace Tilley, masked and with a vaccine dose in hand. We also see scenes of pandemic life, and the contours of a city waiting to reëmerge.

“With masks, social distancing, and vaccines, we’ll slowly recover life in the city,” Sánchez told us. “The chance encounters with people of all cultures; the thrill of eating outside at any hour. The city is a container for so many stories, and soon they’ll be out in the open again.”

This is Sánchez’s début cover, but he isn’t the first to reimagine our mascot. When Rea Irvin, the magazine’s inaugural art editor, drew a Regency dandy for the first issue, in February, 1925, he likely wanted readers to laugh—this self-serious gentleman was a caricature of the dour, bourgeois old guard. A year later, to celebrate The New Yorker still being afloat, Irvin and the magazine’s editor, Harold Ross, decided to republish the cover, establishing an anniversary tradition that endures to this day. Tilley, of course, has changed with the times, and we’ve collected, below, a few of the ways in which artists have remade him.

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