1939

January, having taken only one of 17 scheduled exams at the Politecnico since beginning to work for Bertoldo and then Settebello, has to catch up in order to remain in Italy.

Perspective rendering of an interior, c. 1939-40. Gouache on board, 11 5/8 x 7 ¾ in. Angelini Collection. Probably made for a Politecnico examination.
Perspective rendering of an interior, c. 1939-40. Gouache on board, 11 5/8 x 7 ¾ in. Angelini Collection. Probably made for a Politecnico examination.
Top: reproduction of a 1940 Steinberg drawing of a modern interior. 4 ½ x 8 in., mounted on board. Bottom: design of an interior-exterior with a Hans Arp painting and Bruno Munari’s <em>Macchina inutile</em>, 1940. Pencil, ink, and gouache on board, 11 5/8 x 8 ½ in. Both drawings made for a Politenico examination. Angelini Collection.
Top: reproduction of a 1940 Steinberg drawing of a modern interior. 4 ½ x 8 in., mounted on board. Bottom: design of an interior-exterior with a Hans Arp painting and Bruno Munari’s Macchina inutile, 1940. Pencil, ink, and gouache on board, 11 5/8 x 8 ½ in. Both drawings made for a Politenico examination. Angelini Collection.

To compensate for his loss of cartooning income, friends lend him money or find small jobs for him in graphic design and advertising, his contributions always anonymous or reworked and published under the name of another artist.

Steinberg’s drawing for “Dynamin il Super Shell” advertisement. Saul Steinberg Papers, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.
Steinberg’s drawing for “Dynamin il Super Shell” advertisement. Saul Steinberg Papers, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.
Steinberg’s drawing adapted and signed by Erberto Carboni for Dynamin ad published in La Stampa, June 24, 1939.
Steinberg’s drawing adapted and signed by Erberto Carboni for Dynamin ad published in La Stampa, June 24, 1939.
Steinberg’s drawing adapted and signed by Erberto Carboni for Dynamin ad published in La Stampa, August 5, 1939.
Steinberg’s drawing adapted and signed by Erberto Carboni for Dynamin ad published in La Stampa, August 5, 1939.
Drawing for unknown Studio Boggeri project, c. 1939-40. Archivio Boggeri, Milan.
Drawing for unknown Studio Boggeri project, c. 1939-40. Archivio Boggeri, Milan.
Lampshade decoration for the firm Fontana Arte, 1941.
Lampshade decoration for the firm Fontana Arte, 1941.
Painted decoration for a bar front in the Villa Sacerdotti, Rapallo (Liguria), 1941. Gouache, 54 x 54 in. Private collection.
Painted decoration for a bar front in the Villa Sacerdotti, Rapallo (Liguria), 1941. Gouache, 54 x 54 in. Private collection.
Steinberg’s reduced copy of his Rapallo painting, made while staying in the studio of Luciano Pozzo and Aldo Buzzi. Gouache, 20 x 20 in. Inscribed “Steinberg 1941/Via Annunziata 7.” Collection of Giò Pozzo.
Steinberg’s reduced copy of his Rapallo painting, made while staying in the studio of Luciano Pozzo and Aldo Buzzi. Gouache, 20 x 20 in. Inscribed “Steinberg 1941/Via Annunziata 7.” Collection of Giò Pozzo.

Late in the year, first effort to find a home outside Italy. Aid comes from ST’s uncle Harry Steinberg in New York, as well as Harry’s children, especially his daughter Henrietta and her husband, Harold Danson, along with other US relatives. Also instrumental is Cesar Civita, whom ST knew in Milan. Civita, formerly director of periodicals for Mondadori (publisher of Settebello) had fled Italy in 1938 and within a year was established in New York as an illustrator’s agent.


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