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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Roman Weil Collection of Boris Artzybasheff 1929-1965

© 2017 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

Weil, Roman, Collection of Boris Artzybasheff

Dates:

1929-1965

Size:

4 linear feet (3 boxes and 8 framed items)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

This collection contains illustrations by the Russian-American artist Boris Artzybasheff (1899-1965) produced from 1929 to 1965, and collected by Roman Weil. The material in the collection ranges from magazine covers, industrial advertisements, a map, large advertising poster prints, and a woodblock print. Like the wide-ranging media found in the collection, a researcher can expect to find a wide range in subject matters within the collection. The images describe foreign leaders, American political leaders, anthropomorphized machinery, descriptive maps, technological innovations, political satire, and poetic figurations.

Information on Use

Access

The collection is open for research.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Weil, Roman, Collection of Boris Artzybasheff, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Biographical Note

Roman L. Weil, born in 1940, is an emeritus professor at the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. His research interests focus on corporate governance and financial literacy. Weil received his Bachelor's degree in Economics from Yale University in 1962. He received his Master's degree in Industrial Administration in 1965, and his Ph.D. in Economics in 1966 from Carnegie Mellon University. Weil began teaching at the University of Chicago in 1965. Throughout his career, Weil contributed more than one-hundred articles in professional and academic journals. He worked as an editor to The Accounting Review, The Journal of Accounting and Economics, and The Financial Analytics Journal. Outside of the classroom, Weil consulted for government agencies and private companies including the U.S. Treasury Department, British Petroleum, Cisco Systems, IBM, and many other organizations. Weil retired from teaching in 2008. Roman Weil donated this collection to the University of Chicago in 2013.

Boris Artzybasheff was born in Kharkov, Ukraine in 1899 to Mikhail Petrovich Artsybashev (1878-1927) and Anna Vasilyevna Kobushko. Mikhail Petrovich was a writer, known mostly for his 1904 novel Sanin and his involvement with the anti-Bolshevik newspaper Za Svobodu! ("For Freedom!"). In his early adulthood, Boris Artzybasheff fought in the Ukrainian army. In 1919, he left his homeland and traveled to America, where he arrived at Ellis Island, New York on June 17, 1919. In his early days in the United States, Artzybasheff worked as an illustrator and designed stage sets for Michel Fokine's Russian Ballet and the Ziegfeld Theatre. In 1925, the artist was naturalized as a United States Citizen. In February of 1930, he married Elizabeth Southard Snyder in New York City.

He continued working as an illustrator of books and advertisements in New York City. Fortune Magazine commissioned Artzybasheff to work on the cover of the April 1941 issue. This cover illustration--featured in the Roman Weil Collection--propelled Artzybasheff's career as a magazine illustrator. Throughout the rest of his career, he produced more than 200 covers for Time Magazine, as well as numerous maps and ads for magazines. His illustrations range from portraits of prominent figures to anthropomorphisations of machinery. During his lifetime, Artzybasheff won the John Newberry Award for book illustrations and was a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Boris Artzybasheff passed away in July 1965 in Connecticut.

Scope Note

The Roman Weil Collection of Boris Artzybasheff works is organized into three Series: Series I: Magazine Illustrations; Series II: The Wickwire Steel Company Illustrations; Series III: The Last Trumpet. The collection contains illustrations by the Russian-American artist Boris Artzybasheff ranging from magazine covers, industrial advertisements, a map, a series of large advertisement poster prints, and a woodblock print. The collection spans from 1929 to the artist's death in 1965, but the bulk of the collection features works were produced during World War II, in the early 1940s. Like the wide-ranging media found in the collection, researchers can expect to find a wide range in subject matters within the collection. The images describe foreign leaders, American political leaders, anthropomorphized machinery, descriptive maps, technological innovations, political satire, and poetic figurations.

Series I, Magazine Illustrations, contains items from Time Magazine, Fortune Magazine, Life Magazine, The Golden Book Magazine, The Colophon Quarterly, and Mechanix Illustrated Magazine. The bulk of this series is made up by Time Magazine Issues that range from 1941 to 1965. Because Artzybasheff illustrated advertisements as well as magazine covers, the items included vary in completeness. In some instances, only the magazine cover was collected. For the most part, Weil collected the front and back cover, as well as a selection of pages from the magazines describing foreign news, politics, or the economy. There are a few Time Magazine issues preserved in their entirety. Likewise, the Mechanix issue of 1954 is preserved in its entirety. The series is grouped by publication and each publication is organized chronologically.

Series II, The Wickwire Steel Company Illustrations, contains seven framed advertisement posters and the pamphlet published in 1944 of the "Axis in Agony!" The industrial company commissioned Artzybasheff to produce politically charged advertisements for their industrial products. The collection depicts Axis leaders—Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Fumimaro Konoe--being defeated or ridiculed by anthropomorphized creatures and industrial processes. The accompanying pamphlet contains all the images Artzybasheff created for the Wickwire Steel Company in a small format.

Series III, The Last Trumpet, contains a single frame that contains "The Last Trumpet" woodblock print and a short essay by Carl Carmer. The essay is biographical and interpretive of the accompanying image. Artzybasheff's woodblock print depicts a large angel holding a long trumpet atop a crumbling classical cornice. In the background, a modern city-scape is being consumed by fire.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:

http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/select.html

Weil, Roman. Papers

Syracuse University holds a significant amount of Boris Artzybasheff's personal papers and artworks.

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Series I: Magazine Illustrations

Box 1   Folder 1

The Golden Book Magazine, 1929

Box 1   Folder 2

The Colophon; A Book Collector's Quarterly, 1932

Box 1   Folder 3

Time Magazine, 1941-1942

Box 1   Folder 4

Time Magazine, 1943-1944

Box 1   Folder 5

Time Magazine, 1945-1946

Box 1   Folder 6

Time Magazine, 1947-1948

Box 1   Folder 7

Time Magazine, 1949-1952

Box 1   Folder 8

Time Magazine, 1953-1955

Box 1   Folder 9

Time Magazine, 1955-1956

Box 1   Folder 10

Time Magazine, 1957-1958

Box 1   Folder 11

Time Magazine, 1959

Box 1   Folder 12

Time Magazine, 1960-1965

Box 1   Folder 13

Mechanix Illustrated Magazine, 1954

Box 2   Folder 1

Fortune Magazine Cover, 1941

Box 2   Folder 2

Fortune Magazine Advertisement Illustrations, 1954-1959

Box 2   Folder 3

Life Magazine, World Map of the Major Tropical Diseases, 1944

Series II: The Wickwire Steel Company Illustrations

Box 3   Folder 1

Axis in Agony!, 1944

Item 1

Boris Artzybasheff, Fumimaro Konoe being strangled by a man made of wire, 1943, poster print (FA 155)

Item 2

Boris Artzybasheff, Hitler, Fumimaro Konoe, and Mussolini heads on a chicken going towards incinerator, 1942, poster print (FA 156)

Item 3

Boris Artzybasheff, Hitler, Fumimaro Konoe, and Mussolini as mosquitoes, 1942, poster print (FA 157)

Item 4

Boris Artzybasheff, Steel-man putting Nazis through sieve, taking weapons, 1942, poster print (FA 158)

Item 5

Boris Artzybasheff, Steel-man poking Hitler's nose, 1942, poster print (FA 159)

Item 6

Boris Artzybasheff, Steel-rope-man Strangling Fumimaro Konoe, 1942, poster print (FA 160)

Item 7

Boris Artzybasheff, Hitler, Fumimaro Konoe, and Mussolini as monkeys in a cage, 1942, poster print (FA 161)

Series III: The Last Trumpet

Item 1

Boris Artzybasheff, The Last Trumpet (with essay by Carl Carmer), 1937, woodcut print (FA 162)