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.
FEATURES | Matthew P. Canepa on the art of ancient Iran; Lisa Yuskavage interviewed by Jonathan Griffin; Rosamund Bartlett on how Russia fell for French impressionism; Will Wiles offers up an elegy for the VHS
REVIEWS | Tim Smith-Laing on drawings of Dante’s Divine Comedy; Robert Hanks on an exhibition about touch at the Fitzwilliam; Diana Evans on Lynette Yiadom-Boakye at Tate Britain; Kathryn Murphy on the enigmas of Aby Warburg’s image atlas; Isabelle Kent on the life of Goya; Adriano Aymonino on the history of marble; Thomas Marks on the art of TV chefs
PLUS | Nicholas Penny, Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh on blockbuster shows after Covid; Ben Street rifles through his postcards of paintings; Andrew Russeth moves to Seoul and heads straight to a museum; Edwin Heathcote defends the modern architectural frieze; Robert O’Byrne on the fickleness of taste