Themes

The series of 1952-55 exhibitions marked the first time Steinberg’s art enjoyed broad international exposure.18 As was not uncommon at the time, even in museum shows, works of living artists were for sale, and Steinberg’s sold well. Russell Lynes reported that at the Parsons-Janis show “some buyers, who couldn’t wait until the show was over to take their purchases home, removed them, and Steinberg substituted others.”19 Though some of the drawings at each venue could differ, the thematic organization of the shows remained fixed. Here Steinberg presented subjects not usually found in his magazine work, among them cowboys and the Wild West, gambling, urban and small-town architecture, railroad trains and stations, more diverse views of women, false documents, drawings on graph paper and sheet music. Many such works were published in The Art of Living and The Passport, including Steinberg’s lampoons of chair designs, an idea broached during his Bertoldo days.20


<em>Sheriff</em>, 1951. Ink, watercolor, and foil on paper, 14 x 11 in. Private collection.
Sheriff, 1951. Ink, watercolor, and foil on paper, 14 x 11 in. Private collection.
<em>Cowboys</em>, 1951. Ink on paper, 14 x 22 in. The Art Institute of Chicago; Gift of The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
Cowboys, 1951. Ink on paper, 14 x 22 in. The Art Institute of Chicago; Gift of The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
<em>Bingo in Venice California</em>, 1953. Ink, crayon, and watercolor on paper, 22 ¾ x 28 ¾ in. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Gift of The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
Bingo in Venice California, 1953. Ink, crayon, and watercolor on paper, 22 ¾ x 28 ¾ in. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Gift of The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
<em>Galleria di Milano</em>, 1951. Ink and watercolor on paper, 23 x 14 ½ in. Private collection.
Galleria di Milano, 1951. Ink and watercolor on paper, 23 x 14 ½ in. Private collection.
<em>Highway</em>, 1951. Ink, crayon, and pencil on paper, 23 x 29 in. The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
Highway, 1951. Ink, crayon, and pencil on paper, 23 x 29 in. The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
<em>Gary, Indiana I</em>, 1953. Ink, crayon, and pencil on paper, 14 ½ x 23 in. The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
Gary, Indiana I, 1953. Ink, crayon, and pencil on paper, 14 ½ x 23 in. The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
<em>The City</em>, 1954. Ink, watercolor, crayon, and pencil on paper, 22 ½ x 28 ½ in. The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
The City, 1954. Ink, watercolor, crayon, and pencil on paper, 22 ½ x 28 ½ in. The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
<em>Untitled</em>, 1951-52. Ink and pencil on paper, 114 ½ x 19 3/8 in. The Art Institute of Chicago; Gift of The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
Untitled, 1951-52. Ink and pencil on paper, 114 ½ x 19 3/8 in. The Art Institute of Chicago; Gift of The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
<em>Untitled</em>, 1954. Ink on paper, 14 ½ x 23 in. The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
Untitled, 1954. Ink on paper, 14 ½ x 23 in. The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
<em>Untitled</em>, 1949-54. Ink and pencil on paper, 14 ½ x 23 ¼ in. The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
Untitled, 1949-54. Ink and pencil on paper, 14 ½ x 23 ¼ in. The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
<em>Highway Traffic</em>, 1953. Ink, watercolor, and pencil on paper, 14 ½ x 23 in. The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
Highway Traffic, 1953. Ink, watercolor, and pencil on paper, 14 ½ x 23 in. The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
<em>Train</em>, 1951. Ink, crayon, and pencil on paper, 14 ½ x 23 in. The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
Train, 1951. Ink, crayon, and pencil on paper, 14 ½ x 23 in. The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
<em>Engine</em>, 1951. Ink and crayon on paper, 14 ½ x 23 in. The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
Engine, 1951. Ink and crayon on paper, 14 ½ x 23 in. The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
<em>Untitled (Victoria-Brighton)</em>, 1953. Ink and crayon on paper, 15 ¾ x 12 <sup>3</sup>⁄<sub>8</sub> in. Private collection.
Untitled (Victoria-Brighton), 1953. Ink and crayon on paper, 15 ¾ x 12 38 in. Private collection.
<em>Fur Coats</em>, 1951. Ink on paper, 14 ½ x 23 in. The Art Institute of Chicago; Gift of The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
Fur Coats, 1951. Ink on paper, 14 ½ x 23 in. The Art Institute of Chicago; Gift of The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
<em>Untitled</em>, 1950. Ink, colored pencil, pencil, and collage on paper, 14 ½ x 23 ½ in. The Morgan Library & Museum, New York; Gift of The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
Untitled, 1950. Ink, colored pencil, pencil, and collage on paper, 14 ½ x 23 ½ in. The Morgan Library & Museum, New York; Gift of The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
<em>Document for Henri Cartier-Bresson</em>, 1947. Ink and collage on paper, 14 3/8 x 11 3/16 in. Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris.
Document for Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1947. Ink and collage on paper, 14 3/8 x 11 3/16 in. Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris.
<em>Fake Letters</em>, c. 1950. Ink on 3 sheets of hotel letterhead; ink and wash on pseudo-photograph, 15 x 16 ½ in. The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
Fake Letters, c. 1950. Ink on 3 sheets of hotel letterhead; ink and wash on pseudo-photograph, 15 x 16 ½ in. The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
<em>Passport</em>, 1953. Mixed media on paper, 14 ¾ x 11 ¾ in. Collection of Leon and Michaela Constantiner, New York.
Passport, 1953. Mixed media on paper, 14 ¾ x 11 ¾ in. Collection of Leon and Michaela Constantiner, New York.
<em>Diploma for Alberto Giacometti</em>, 1953. Ink, rubber stamp, and seal on vellum, 14 ½ x 23 in. Fondation Giacometti, Paris.
Diploma for Alberto Giacometti, 1953. Ink, rubber stamp, and seal on vellum, 14 ½ x 23 in. Fondation Giacometti, Paris.
<em>The Declaration of Independence</em>, 1949-54 (inscribed to Carl Theodor Dreyer and dated to the time of the gift, 1959). Ink on paper, 14 ½ x 22 ¾ in. Private collection.
The Declaration of Independence, 1949-54 (inscribed to Carl Theodor Dreyer and dated to the time of the gift, 1959). Ink on paper, 14 ½ x 22 ¾ in. Private collection.
<em>Untitled</em>, 1951. Fingerprints and ink on paper, 11 x 8 ½ in. Collection of Daniela Roman.
Untitled, 1951. Fingerprints and ink on paper, 11 x 8 ½ in. Collection of Daniela Roman.
<em>Fingerprint Landscape</em>, 1950. Ink and fingerprints on paper, 14 ½ x 11 1/8 in. Saul Steinberg Papers, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.
Fingerprint Landscape, 1950. Ink and fingerprints on paper, 14 ½ x 11 1/8 in. Saul Steinberg Papers, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.
<em>Untitled</em>, c. 1950-52. Ink and pencil on sheet music paper, 19 1/8 x 14 1/8 in. The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
Untitled, c. 1950-52. Ink and pencil on sheet music paper, 19 1/8 x 14 1/8 in. The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
<em>Untitled</em>, 1951. Ink on graph paper, 11 x 16 ½ in. Collection of Daniela Roman.
Untitled, 1951. Ink on graph paper, 11 x 16 ½ in. Collection of Daniela Roman.
<em>Untitled (Flyscreen)</em>, c. 1950. Ink on graph paper, 11 x 8 ½ in. Saul Steinberg Papers, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.
Untitled (Flyscreen), c. 1950. Ink on graph paper, 11 x 8 ½ in. Saul Steinberg Papers, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.
<em>Untitled</em>, 1950. Ink and graph paper, 12 x 9 in. Published in Steinberg, <em>The Passport</em>, 1954.
Untitled, 1950. Ink and graph paper, 12 x 9 in. Published in Steinberg, The Passport, 1954.
<em>Graph Paper Architecture</em>, 1954. Ink and collage on paper, 14 ½ x 11 ½ in. Collection of Leon and Michaela Constantiner, New York.
Graph Paper Architecture, 1954. Ink and collage on paper, 14 ½ x 11 ½ in. Collection of Leon and Michaela Constantiner, New York.
<em>Park Avenue Collage</em>, 1954. Ink and sheet music and graph papers, 22 7/8 x 14 3/8 in. Centre Pompidou, Paris; Gift of The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
Park Avenue Collage, 1954. Ink and sheet music and graph papers, 22 7/8 x 14 3/8 in. Centre Pompidou, Paris; Gift of The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
Page of lampoons of chair designs from <em>The Art of Living</em>, 1949.
Page of lampoons of chair designs from The Art of Living, 1949.
“Mobili ultramoderni” (“Ultramodern Furniture”), <em>Bertoldo</em>, November 16, 1937. “This Novecento armchair is super comfortable. You can lie under it and be like a king.”
“Mobili ultramoderni” (“Ultramodern Furniture”), Bertoldo, November 16, 1937. “This Novecento armchair is super comfortable. You can lie under it and be like a king.”

A highlight of several of the 1952-55 shows was the panoramic Parade series. One set of eleven panels on exhibition had been prepurchased from Betty Parsons by The Metropolitan Museum of Art. So Steinberg, a self-described “parade addict,” made a variant set to add to the installation and travel on. The American parade was just made for his inquisitive eye: “It gives me an excuse to be staring at people.”21

Panel 1 of <em>Parade</em>, 1951. Ink, crayon, and gold paper on paper, 14 9/16 x 23 1/16 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Purchase, Elihu Root, Jr. Gift and Rogers Fund.
Panel 1 of Parade, 1951. Ink, crayon, and gold paper on paper, 14 9/16 x 23 1/16 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Purchase, Elihu Root, Jr. Gift and Rogers Fund.
Panel 2 of <em>Parade</em>, 1951. Ink, crayon, and gold paper on paper, 14 9/16 x 23 1/16 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Purchase, Elihu Root, Jr. Gift and Rogers Fund.
Panel 2 of Parade, 1951. Ink, crayon, and gold paper on paper, 14 9/16 x 23 1/16 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Purchase, Elihu Root, Jr. Gift and Rogers Fund.
Panel 3 of <em>Parade</em>, 1951. Ink, crayon, and gold paper on paper, 14 9/16 x 23 1/16 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Purchase, Elihu Root, Jr. Gift and Rogers Fund.
Panel 3 of Parade, 1951. Ink, crayon, and gold paper on paper, 14 9/16 x 23 1/16 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Purchase, Elihu Root, Jr. Gift and Rogers Fund.

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