Peter Arno

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Peter Arno
Born Curtis Arnoux Peters, Jr.
(1904-01-08)January 8, 1904
New York City, New York
Died February 22, 1968(1968-02-22) (aged 64)
Port Chester, New York
Residence New York City, New York
Nationality American
Education Yale University
Hotchkiss School
Occupation Cartoonist
Employer The New Yorker (1925-1968)
Known for Created 99 covers for The New Yorker
Spouse(s) Lois Long
Mary Livingston Lansing
Children Patricia Arno

Peter Arno (January 8, 1904 – February 22, 1968) was a U.S. cartoonist. He contributed cartoons and 99 covers to The New Yorker from 1925, the magazine's first year, until 1968,[1] the year of his death.

Biography[edit]

Born Curtis Arnoux Peters, Jr. in New York, New York, he was educated at the Hotchkiss School and Yale University, where he contributed illustrations, covers and cartoons to campus humor magazine The Yale Record as "Peters".[2]

Caricature of Rudy Vallée, megaphonist and apple of many a flapper's eye, in the 1934 Betty Boop cartoon Poor Cinderella

While at Yale, he formed a jazz band called the Yale Collegians with a pre-megaphone Rudy Vallée. His cartoon was on the Yale Record and he made a nine-piece band named the Yale Collegians. In the band, he played piano, banjo, and accordion when it was needed.[3] After graduating college, he started to using pen name, Peter Arno, to hide his identity as a cartoonist. The iconic cartoons and covers he created for The New Yorker from 1925 through 1968 were expressively drawn, instantly identifiable and hilarious.[4] They helped establish the magazine's reputation as a bastion of both sophisticated humor and fine drawing, often depicting a cross-section of New York society.[5] First success of Peter Arno in his cartoon career was "Whoops!" Christened the "Whoops Sisters.” This cartoon was in the magazine about three times a month for three years.[6]

Arno only worked about two days a week. During this time, he drew rough sketches of cartoon and sent them to the New Yorkers for feedback. He finished the cartoons in batches and worked for twenty-four or thirty-six hours just for sketch.[7]

Sometimes he traveled to have good inspiration to his cartoons.[8]

In a famous March 1, 1941 New Yorker cartoon, he coined the popular expression "back to the drawing board."[9][10]

Lois Long, a.k.a. "Lipstick", in the early 1920s

In 1927, he married Lois Long, a popular New Yorker columnist and fashion editor who wrote under the pseudonym "Lipstick". The very embodiment of the glamorous flapper, she also wrote reviews of New York speakeasies. Together they had one daughter, Patricia Arno, born September 18, 1928, but they divorced in 1930. Arno later married debutant Mary Livingston Lansing, in August 1935, but unfortunately, they divorced in July 1939.

After his second divorce, he gave up all his belongings and moved to farm near Harrison. He lived there secluded, and enjoyed leisure, like music, guns, sport cars, and drawing.[11]

Arno died of emphysema on February 22, 1968 at the age of 64. He is buried at Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Whoops Dearie!. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1927.
  • Parade. New York: H. Liveright,1929.
  • Hullabaloo. New York: H. Liveright, 1930.
  • Circus. New York: H. Liveright, 1931.
  • Favorites. New York: Blue Ribbon Books, 1932.
  • For Members Only. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1935.
  • Cartoon Revue. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1941.
  • Man in the Shower. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1944.
  • Sizzling Platter. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1949.
  • Ladies and Gentlemen. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1951.
  • Hell of a Way to Run a Railroad. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1956.
  • Lady in the Shower. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1967.
  • Peter Arno. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1979.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Remnick, David, ed. (2005) The Complete New Yorker: Eighty Years of the Nation's Greatest Magazine. New York: Random House.
  2. ^ Arno, Peter (as "Peters") (January 17, 1923). Cover Illustration. The Yale Record. New Haven: Yale Record.
  3. ^ Arno, Peter Robert C. Harvey: http://www.anb.org/articles/16/16-00045.html; American National Biography Online Feb. 2000
  4. ^ Mankoff, Robert, ed. (2004) The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers.
  5. ^ Topliss, Iain. The Comic Worlds of Peter Arno, William Steig, Charles Addams, and Saul Steinberg. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005.
  6. ^ Arno, Peter Robert C. Harvey: http://www.anb.org/articles/16/16-00045.html; American National Biography Online Feb. 2000
  7. ^ Arno, Peter Robert C. Harvey: http://www.anb.org/articles/16/16-00045.html; American National Biography Online Feb. 2000
  8. ^ Arno, Peter Robert C. Harvey: http://www.anb.org/articles/16/16-00045.html; American National Biography Online Feb. 2000
  9. ^ Arno, Peter (March 1, 1941). Cartoon. The New Yorker. New York: Conde Nast.
  10. ^ Mankoff, Robert, The Perfect Cartoon: Part Two, New Yorker, June 11, 2014
  11. ^ Arno, Peter Robert C. Harvey: http://www.anb.org/articles/16/16-00045.html; American National Biography Online Feb. 2000

A Comics Studies Reader. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2009

External links[edit]