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Cover Design for "291" (journal)

Marius de Zayas (Mexican, Veracruz 1880–1961 Stamford, Connecticut)

Ink, watercolor, graphite, cut-and-pasted printed paper on paperboard
27 1/2 x 21 in. (69.9 x 53.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949
Accession Number:
  • Description

    De Zayas, Paul Haviland, and Agnes Ernst Meyer started the journal 291 in 1915, with later input from Francis Picabia. It existed for eleven months, from March 1915 to February 1916, and included short articles, poems, and artistic statements, paired with reproductions of artwork by the most avant-garde artists affiliated with "291." As Stieglitz recalled years later, de Zayas, Haviland, and Meyer felt that World War I had "put a damper on everything" and "that 291 [the gallery] should publish a monthly devoted to the most modern art and satire . . . [to] bring some new life into 291." Acting as artist, editor, writer, and publisher, de Zayas played an integral part in the conception and running of the periodical.
    This drawing, which represents an abstract caricature of Stieglitz and his camera, was used as the cover design of the first issue. Framed beside it is the printed version of the cover with watercolor additions by de Zayas.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Signature: Name printed on cut-and-pasted paper (lower left): M. de Zayas

  • Exhibition History

    Lawrence, Kansas. Spencer Museum of Art. "Marius de Zayas: Conjurer of Souls," September 27–November 8, 1981, no. 30.

    Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Marius de Zayas: Conjurer of Souls," December 18, 1981–February 14, 1982, no. 30.

    New York. Center for Inter-American Relations. "Marius de Zayas: Conjurer of Souls," March 2–April 4, 1982, no. 30.

    Mexico City. Centro Cultural Arte Contemporaneo. "Octavio Paz: los privilegios de la visita," March 15–June 1990, no. 83.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Marius de Zayas: A Mexican in New York"; September 13, 1990 - March 1991

    Katonah Museum of Art. "Friends and Family: Portraiture in the Work of Florine Stettheimer," September 19–November 28, 1993.

    Washington. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. "Celebrity Caricature in America," April 10–August 23, 1998, unnumbered cat. (fig. 4.32).

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Marius de Zayas & The Stieglitz Circle," March 19–June 27, 2004, no catalogue.