The Art of The Book #2 – New York City Deco Dust Jackets From The 20′s & 30’s
We continue our look at some great New York City books from the 1920’s and 1930’s with exceptional artwork on their dust jackets. (click here to read part 1)
We begin with graphics on a dust jacket worthy of a large size poster from the quintessential art deco New York book. (click on any photo to enlarge)
A witty description of New York, via French writer Paul Morand, (1888-1976) from four visits he made to New York, none longer than a month, from between 1925-1929. Morand later became a supporter of the French Vichy regime.
Joaquin Vaquero (1900-1998) as he is credited in the book without the Palacios surname, was a Spanish architect and painter. His paintings are held in museums across the globe.
George S. Chappell (1877-1946) was an architect, lecturer and editor who on the side also wrote humorous books under the nom-de-plume, Dr. Walter Traprock. This early guide is broken down by neighborhood and was the second book ever published solely devoted to describing the atmosphere and food at New York City restaurants. Not surprisingly, with the exception of the hotels that are still in existence which contain restaurants, not one of the establishments described in the book is in business today.
A tour of the city arranged by neighborhood with mystery author Hulbert Footner (1879-1944) doing the honors with acerbic commentary. The book was criticized at the time of publication for not being entirely accurate with the facts, but was deemed very entertaining.
The book is complemented with wonderful photographs taken by John J. Floherty (1882-1964). Although the initials “J.F.L.” or “F.L” appear in the lower right hand corner of the dust jacket, and could be John Floherty, the jacket designer at this time is unknown.
From 1922 – 1960 Brooks Atkinson (1894-1984) wrote for the New York Times, primarily as the drama critic. Here he muses about the city he loves. He would later publish a diary of a year spent living in the city titled Once Around The Sun. There is no credit for the stunning art deco dust jacket that accompanies the limited edition book of 2,500 copies.
Albert Steven Crockett (1873-1969) was a foreign correspondent for The New York Herald and The New York Times. He later became the “publicity man” for the Waldorf-Astoria from 1915-1917 and again from 1925-1929. This book is about the wealthy in New York at the turn of the century. The title derives from the long, wide corridor called Peacock Alley, connecting the two hotels, The Waldorf and The Astoria which were once separate establishments. In this corridor pretty women would strut by, displaying their elegant clothing in front of admiring wealthy men. Crockett is highly sought after by book collectors for his writings on mixed drinks; Old Waldorf Bar Days (1931) and The Old Waldorf Astoria Bar Book (1935).
Dust jacket illustrator Irving Politzer (1898-1971) was a prolific book and dust jacket designer and illustrated many sheet music covers.
Oscar Odd McIntyre (1884-1938) is virtually unknown today, but during the 1920’s and 30’s his daily syndicated Hearst column “New York Day by Day” appeared in 380 newspapers making him one of the widest read writers of his day. His middle name, Odd came from an uncle, whose name was pronounced Ud. White Light Nights is a collection of stories mostly about Broadway, celebrities and various New York neighborhoods.
Artist Harvey Dunn (1884-1952) occasionally illustrated dust jackets . Dunn is considered one of the 20th century’s finest American painters and illustrators, especially known for his depictions of the prairie and old west. Dunn studied with famed illustrator Howard Pyle for two years and then set out on his own in 1906. Dunn became one of the most sought out commercial illustrators and his work appeared in magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post and Collier’s Weekly. His works are held in many museums and institutions.
Click here to read part 3.