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Time Magazine Cover with Steinberg Drawing, from 901 Library

Saul Steinberg

May 14, 1965

Saul Steinberg’s drawings graced the covers of many major US magazines over the course of his career, including Harper’s Bazaar, Time, and especially The New Yorker. For this May 1965 issue of Time, Steinberg brought the cover story “The Communications Explosion” to life. The small figure at the bottom appears to be walking in a rural setting, surrounded by concentric arcs that call to mind images of radar and which connect him to a hulking mass of geometric forms, dotted lines, and intricate patterns that loom above. The eclectic assemblage is characteristic of Steinberg’s willingness to combine diverse styles in a single work. In this case, both Cubist painting and Victorian ornament are evoked. Overall, the drawing vividly conveys the idea that new communications technologies were transforming the everyday experience of ordinary Americans in this period at an ever-increasing rate. These kinds of technological changes were of great interest to the Eameses, evidenced in their 1953 film A Communications Primer, which explored the subject, so it comes as little surprise that they kept this issue of the magazine. The copy still has its address sticker intact, which is visible in the cover’s lower-left corner and addressed to “Mr-Mrs Charles Eames” at their Venice PO Box.

  • Manufacturer: TIME, Inc.
  • Medium:Magazine
  • Dimensions:11 x 8 1/2 in. (27.9 x 21.6 cm)
  • Item:A.2019.2.1719