Miguel Covarrubias arrived in New York in 1923 at the age of nineteen and quickly established himself as one of the foremost illustrators of the era. His work came to the attention of Frank Crowninshield, publisher of Vanity Fair, and Crowninshield published Covarrubias’s first illustration for the magazine in 1924. The artist became a regular contributor, and in 1934 Crowninshield wrote to Covarrubias, “You are Vanity Fair’s brightest jewel.”
This cover illustration for the 1934 Thanksgiving issue of Vanity Fair shows President Franklin D. Roosevelt serving up the Blue Eagle symbol of the National Recovery Act on a silver platter. The Blue Eagle became the symbol of the New Deal, and Americans were urged to only buy products or services from companies that displayed the insignia. This cover exemplifies Covarrubias’s ability to capture an instantly recognizable subject with his unique, dynamic style.