Renowned Mexican artist Miguel Covarrubias died on this date on February 4, 1957. Born in Mexico City, Covarrubias traveled to New York at an early age thanks to a grant from the Mexican government. He enjoyed some success across a number of fields, publishing his artwork in mainstream American publications such as The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, creating sets and costumes for American and European shows including Josephine Baker’s La Revue Nègre in Paris, designing a number of book covers, publishing his research on the indigenous art of North and Central America, and conducting an ethnographic study of the island of Bali. Along the way Covarrubias became associated with a number of influential artists, including Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, prominent intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance such as the poet Langston Hughes, and other New York figures such as the director John Huston and the choreographer José Limón. Covarrubias’ many illustrations of people of African descent were recently shown at the California African American Museum as part of an exhibition called “The African Diaspora in the Art of Miguel Covarrubias: Driven by Color, Shaped by Culture”.

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