Arno Peter

Philadelphia, United States

08.01.1904 - 22.02.1968


Curtis Arnoux Peters Jr. (known professionally as Peter Arnault). He published cartoons and 101 covers for The New Yorker from 1925, the first year of the magazine’s existence, until 1968, the year of his death. In 2015, a New Yorker employee, Roger Angell, called him “the magazine’s first genius.”

Arnaud was born on January 8, 1904 in New York City. His father was Curtis Arnoux Peters, a justice of the New York State Supreme Court. He was educated at the Hotchkiss School and Yale University, where he did illustrations, covers and cartoons for The Yale Record, a humorous campus magazine, under the name “Peters”. He also formed a jazz band called the Yale Collegians, in which he played piano, banjo and accordion. Arno’s fascination with show business later led to him designing, writing and/or producing four Broadway shows and appearing with other cartoonists in the film Artists and Model.

After a year at Yale University, he moved home to Manhattan and worked as an illustrator for a silent film company (Chadwick Films) before joining the staff of the young magazine The New Yorker. The famous cartoons and covers he created there from 1925 to 1968 helped create the magazine’s reputation for sophisticated humor and fine illustrations. His works often depicted a cross-section of New York society, although he was also inspired by the situations he encountered during his travels. Arno drew his cartoons in batches, usually for two days every week. Arno often worked with the authors of jokes, one of whom came up with the popular expression “back to the drawing board”. in a famous cartoon on March 1, 1941.

Lois Long, also known as “Lipstick”, 1920s.

In 1927, he married Lois Long, a popular New Yorker columnist and fashion editor who wrote under the pseudonym “Lipstick”. Their only daughter Patricia was born on September 18, 1928, and the couple divorced in 1930. Arnault later married debutante Mary Livingston Lansing in August 1935; they divorced in July 1939.

After his second divorce, Arno moved to a farm near Harrison, New York, where he lived in seclusion, enjoying music, guns and sports cars.

Reference: Wikipedia, 2010


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