Constantin Alajalov: Illustrator and Painter

 

This exhibition features the artwork of renowned New Yorker and Saturday Evening Post illustrator, Constantin Alajalov.

Born in Rostov, Russia in 1900, Alajalov was a student at the University of Petrograd when the Russian Revolution erupted. Constantin managed to survive this period by joining a government-organized group of artists that traveled through the countryside painting large propaganda murals and posters. He next moved to Persia where he painted for a revolutionary Khan, until it was no longer safe. He would later stop in the international refugee haven of Constantinople before immigrating to the United States at twenty-three.

Alajalov started his US career painting wall murals at a restaurant owned by Russian Countess Anna Zarnekau. Within three years, Alajalov was selling his paintings to The New Yorker magazine, where his first cover appeared on September 25, 1926. He went on to create more than 70 covers for the magazine. He would also create covers for The Saturday Evening Post, which was unusual as both publications ordinarily required exclusivity of their artists. He also illustrated over a dozen books, including the first edition of George Gershwin's Song Book.

Located in the lobby of the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center on the fifth floor of the Mugar Memorial Library. The exhibition can be viewed during regular office hours, Monday-Friday 9:00 AM -5:00 PM.

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Constantin Alajalov