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Abril Lamarque papers, 1883-2001, bulk, 1904-1999

Abril Lamarque papers, 1883-2001, bulk, 1904-1999

Lamarque, Abril, 1904-1999

Cartoonist, Designer, Illustrator, Draftsmen (artists)

This site provides access to the papers of Abril Lamarque in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2016, and total 6,693 images.

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by The Walton Family Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Collection Information

Size: 6 linear feet

Summary: The papers of Cuban-born cartoonist, caricaturist, graphic designer, illustrator, and art director Abril Lamarque papers date from 1883-2001, with the bulk of the material ranging from 1904-1999, and measure 6 linear feet. His papers contain biographical material; correspondence; writings; files on the many seminars and workshops he taught; scattered financial records; files concerning his business Abril Lamarque Creations; subject files; clippings; printed illustrations of his comics, designs, illustrations, and other work; seven scrapbooks; two sketchbooks, sketches and drawings by him, and others, including his sister, his brother, Paul Hoffmaster, Enrique Riverón, and H. Portell Vilá; and photographs and negatives depicting Lamarque, Lamarque at work, Lamarque's magic shows, examples of advertising, and friends and colleagues.

Biographical/Historical Note

Eduardo Abril Lamarque (1904-1999) was a Cuban-born cartoonist, caricaturist, graphic designer, illustrator, and art director who worked primarily in New York City.

Provenance

Martha Lamarque Sarno and Lita M. Elvers assembled and donated their father's papers to the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, in 2001.

Funding

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by The Walton Family Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.

A Finding Aid to the Abril Lamarque Papers,
1883-2001
,
bulk 1904-1999
, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.lamaabri
Author
Finding aid prepared by Rosa M. Fernandez and Megan Burdi
Biographical Note
Eduardo Abril Lamarque (1904-1999) was a Cuban-born cartoonist, caricaturist, graphic designer, illustrator, and art director who worked primarily in New York City.
Eduardo Abril Lamarque was born in Cuba on August 28, 1904. His parents sent him to the United States in 1916 when he was twelve to study English and business administration. He lived with an American family in Brooklyn. At age 15, Lamarque's first cartoon was published in the Boy Scout section of the
New York World-Telegram and Evening Mail
. Four years later he created
Bla-Bla
, a comic strip that appeared regularly in the
New York Daily News
. He is credited with creating, in the early 1920s, the first Spanish language comic strip that was not translated from English. The title cartoon character,
Monguito
, was a hapless soul, fully dressed in business suit and hat, who kept getting into sticky situations. Lamarque produced hundreds of these strips which were picked up by the New York based United Feature Syndicate and published daily in Spanish language newspapers throughout Latin America and the United States.
When he was twenty, Lamarque returned to Cuba to work as the artistic director for the Havana newspaper
Lunes de Diario de Cuba
. He also published a booklet designed to teach the elements of caricature drawing. Lamarque returned to New York and was hired by the
New York World Telegram and Evening Mail
as a caricaturist. He produced political cartoons and caricatures for the paper, introducing his "radiocatures", which involved providing instructions on the radio for filling in a grid in the newspaper to produce a caricature of well-known figure in the news.
In 1927, at the age of 23, he became the first art director of Dell Publishing Company - a magazine empire that included
Film Fun
,
I Confess
,
War Stories
,
Modern Screen
,
Popular Song
,
Spotlight
,
Radio Stars
,
Theatrical Page
,
Ballyhoo
, and
Modern Romances
. He continued working there for 14 years.
In 1940-1941, Lamarque established Abril Lamarque Creations, a design firm that specialized in elegant and functional household objects and jewelry in a modernist tradition. His signature piece was the Pallettray, a serving tray modeled after an artist's palette and hand-finished in exotic woods.
Between 1941 and 1946, Lamarque became the first art director for the Sunday edition of the
New York Times
and redesigned the
New York Times Magazine
and the
New York Times Book Review
. Throughout his career, Lamarque designed and redesigned countless magazines and journals, including
American Weekly
,
New York News
,
Metropolitan Life
,
Popular Science
,
This Week
,
US News-World Report
, and others.
In 1948, Lamarque established a successful graphic design studio in New York that provided a full spectrum of design services, including annual reports, posters, product labeling, corporate publications, advertising, logos, package designs, and brochures. His clients included Barcardi Company, Con Edison, Ericcson Telephone, General Cable, Berlitz School, Lipton, Monsanto, and numerous magazines. In 1958, he was given the National Award for Graphic Design in packaging. His design for the annual American Red Cross poster was selected for the 1948 national Red Cross campaign.
His success and high demand as a publication art director, consultant, and designer was attributed to innovative design principles he based on the German Bauhaus School and its philosophy that promoted functional design principles. Lamarque reduced these principles to a set of guidelines suitable for page design and applied them successfully to a wide variety of publication and print layouts.
Lamarque's teaching experience began in the early 1940s with seminars and workshops he conducted for the publishing industry. He joined the faculty of New York University School of Continuing Education in 1958, where he taught until 1963, and later joined the Crowell Collier Institute and taught publication design workshops across the United States and Canada. He also gave workshops and courses at Oklahoma State School of Journalism.
Lamarque was a long-time member of the Society of Illustrators, Society of Art Directors, the Dutch Treat Club, National Press Club, and New York University Club. He was also an amateur magician and member of the Society of American Magicians. He performed magic acts for the annual Christmas party of the Society of Illustrators. Abril Lamarque died in 1999 at the age of 94.
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged as eleven series.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1917-2001 (0.5 linear feet; Box 1, OV 12)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1922-1990 (0.5 linear feet; Box 1, OV 12)
Series 3: Writings, 1925-1981 (0.3 linear feet; Box 2, OV 13)
Series 4: Workshops, circa 1940-circa 1985 (0.4 linear feet; Box 2, OV 13)
Series 5: Financial Records, 1924-1989 (4 folders; Box 2)
Series 6: Abril Lamarque Creations, circa 1940-circa 1945 (6 folders; Box 2, OV 13)
Series 7: Subject Files, 1905-1996 (0.5 linear feet; Box 4, OV 14)
Series 8: Printed Material, 1883-1989 (1.5 linear feet; Box 3, 4, 6, and 11, OV 15-17)
Series 9: Scrapbooks, 1920-1959 (1 linear foot; Boxes 7-9, OV 10)
Series 10: Original Artwork, circa 1914-1988 (0.5 linear feet; Box 4, OV 18)
Series 11: Photographic Material, circa 1920-circa 1985 (0.5 linear feet; Box 5, OV 19)
Scope and Content Note
The papers of Cuban-born cartoonist, caricaturist, graphic designer, illustrator, and art director Abril Lamarque papers date from 1883-2001, with the bulk of the material ranging from 1904-1999, and measure 6 linear feet. His papers contain biographical material; correspondence; writings; files on the many seminars and workshops he taught; scattered financial records; files concerning his business Abril Lamarque Creations; subject files; clippings; printed illustrations of his comics, designs, illustrations, and other work; seven scrapbooks; two sketchbooks, sketches and drawings by him, and others, including his sister, his brother, Paul Hoffmaster, Enrique Riverón, and H. Portell Vilá; and photographs and negatives depicting Lamarque, Lamarque at work, Lamarque's magic shows, examples of advertising, and friends and colleagues.
Biographical materials include of materials related to Abril Lamarque’s many professional and personal associations, including the Art Directors Club, the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the National Press Club, the New York University Club, the Society of American Magicians, and the Society of Illustrators. Material types include membership cards, documents, event posters, and yearbooks. Also included are some personal documents, information on Abril Lamarque and his family, Lamarque’s collection of humorous business cards, and eulogies written about Lamarque.
Correspondence is generally scattered, but includes letters to and from illustrators and artists including Ernesto Garcia Cabral, Paul Hoffmaster, Conrado Massaguer, and Lamarque’s brother, Juan Abril Lamarque. Some letters are illustrated. Also included is business correspondence, subjects and correspondents including the Dell Publishing Company, the
New York Times
, and correspondence related to workshops and lectures, including his work at Iowa State University and Oklahoma State University.
Writings chiefly document Lamarque’s career in graphic and publication design, and consist of articles, an unpublished draft on publication design, manuals, and book reviews. Also included are scripts for magic shows performed by Lamarque. Writings by others are present, and include limericks written about Lamarque by friends and an autobiography of Lamarque’s wife, Milagros Abril Lamarque.
The Workshops series consists of advertisements, press releases, handbooks, publication design layout examples, and other materials related to Lamarque’s career in teaching publication design workshops and seminars. Also present within the collection are various financial materials. Abril Lamarque Creations materials document Lamarque’s design firm, active 1940-1941, which focused on the design and manufacture of modern decorative accessories for the home, such as serving trays, cigarette holders and jewelry. Photographs, drawings, and advertisements in this series document the product design and sales.
The collection includes several subject files concerning the Bacardi Company, the Dell Publishing Company, and Cuban caricaturist and publisher Conrado Massaguer. Files on Massaguer include illustrations, posters, magazines, clippings, and articles. The Subject Files also include materials collected about Mexican caricaturist Ernesto García, self-taught Polish painter Karol Kozlowski, and several other illustrators and political figures of interest to Lamarque.
Printed materials make up the bulk of the collection. Found are numerous examples of his design work for the
New York World-Telegram and Evening Mail
, the
New York Daily News
, the
New York Times
,
US News-World Report
, Dell Publishing Company, and others; as well as cartoons, caricatures, and illustrations by Lamarque. Clippings of the comic strip
Monguito
and editions of the Havana newspaper
Lunes de Diario de Cuba
are present. Printed material also includes posters, including Lamarque’s designs for the "Aluminum for Britain" project, which he was asked to discontinue by the U.S. State Department. Also found in this collection are graphic design and illustration clippings collected by Lamarque.
Also found within the collection are seven scrapbooks containing clippings and articles, illustrations, scattered letters, photographs, invitations, artwork, and other materials detailing Lamarque's extensive artistic career and his amateur magic performances.
Photographs included in the collection document Abril Lamarque’s life and career, and show Lamarque with friends and colleagues, and performing as an amateur magician for both children and adult audiences.
Provenance
Martha Lamarque Sarno and Lita M. Elvers assembled and donated their father's papers to the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, in 2001.
Processing Information note
The Abril Lamarque papers were processed by Rosa M. Fernandez, July, 2002. In 2016, the collection was prepared for digitization, and the arrangement and description was revised by Megan Burdi. The collection was scanned in 2016. Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by The Walton Family Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Additional Forms Available

The collection was digitized in 2016 and is available via the Archives of American Art's website. The collection was scanned in its entirety, with the exception of duplicates and blank pages. Printed materials may have their covers, titles, copyright information, and/or relevant pages scanned.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Abril Lamarque papers, 1883-2001, bulk, 1904-1999. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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