Thursday, December 10, 2015

Some Artzybasheff Early-1950s Time Covers

Boris Artzybasheff (1899-1965), was born in Kharkov, Ukraine, Russian Empire, and in 1919 left Russia for the United States in the wake of the Communist Revolution. I have no information regarding art training, but he did make illustration his profession, usually as a book illustrator during the first part of his career. Biographical information via the Society of Illustrators can be found here, and an appreciation by Jim Vadeboncoeur Jr. is here.

Artzybasheff began illustrating for Time, Inc. in 1940, making more than 200 magazine cover illustrations over the next quarter century when Time magazine was at its peak as a serious, influential publication. The images below are from the early 1950s when he was at his most productive and inventive.


Time cover - 2 July 1951
The Korean War had been on for a year and the USA was in the process of rearming for the Cold War. At the nerve center of these activities was the Pentagon, subject of this Time cover showing all that red tape.

Time cover - 20 August 1951
Lt. General Vasily Stalin (1921-1962), son of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. Vasily began to get into trouble the following year, even before his father died. After that, his career collapsed.

Time cover - 8 December 1952
The Space Age was still in gestation, but Artzybasheff considers the use of unmanned probes for exploration.

Time cover - 2 February 1953
Harold S. Vance, President of Studebaker shown with the sensational new Starliner styled by Raymond Loewy's team.

Time cover - 16 March 1953
Joseph Stalin (1878 - 5 March, 1953). Given the lead time for publications in those days, I suspect that Artzybasheff's illustration had been completed before Stalin's death, perhaps intended for a cover story still in the planning stage. By the way, news that he was ill came out only two or three days before his death. Before that, there was little inkling that Stalin might die, so Time editors had no strong reason to set up an issue dealing with it in advance -- though it's possible that they might have anyway, in newspaper obituary-writing fashion.

Time cover - 8 June 1953
3-D movies were a big, but brief, sensation in 1953. Here Artzybasheff switches from machines and portraits to a cartoon style.

Time cover - 29 June 1953
James H. (Dutch) Kindelberger, Chairman of North American Aviation, builder of the F-86 Sabre shown here battling a Russian MiG-15. Compare to the MiG-15 he pictures for the Vasily Stalin cover, above.

1 comment:

Stanley Workman said...