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Peter Arno (1904-1968)


Curtis Arnoux Peters Jr (1904-1968), known as ‘Peter Arno’
Hailed as ‘the greatest artist in the world’ by its founder Harold Ross, Peter Arno did much to establish The New Yorker’s reputation for sophisticated humour, through his satirical look at the decadent New York society of the inter-war period. Quickly establishing himself as one of the pillars of the magazine’s earliest days, Peter Arno would continue to produce cartoons and covers for The New Yorker until his death, an association of over 40 years. Described as ‘a master of composition’, perhaps his most famous cartoon, which he produced in 1941, coined the phrase ‘back to the old drawing board’.
Peter Arno was born Curtis Arnoux Peters Jr in New York, on 8 January 1904, the son of a New York State Supreme Court Justice. Encouraged to draw from an early age, he was educated at The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT, before attending Yale between 1922-24. Whilst there, he contributed illustrations, covers and cartoons to campus magazine The Yale Record, under the name ‘Peters’.

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