Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
The Abril Lamarque papers date from 1883-2001, with the bulk of the material ranging from 1904-1999, and measure 6.2 linear feet. The collection documents the life and career of Cuban-born cartoonist, designer, illustrator, graphic artist, caricaturist, and art director through printed materials, scrapbooks, writings, and original artwork. Found are files and 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; cartoons and caricatures by Lamarque; files regarding his writings and workshops and his memberships in various organizations. Lamarque's life-long interest in, and amateur performances of, magic are also documented to a lesser extent.
The collection consists primarily of varied printed material (1883-1989), such as magazines, newspapers, clippings, posters, and other publications that Lamarque either designed or that feature his cartoons, caricatures, or illustrations. These include clippings of the comic strip Monguito and editions of the Havana newspaper Lunes de Diario de Cuba.
Printed material also includes posters, some humorous and others more serious, such as the posters Lamarque designed for the "Aluminum for Britian" project which he was asked to discontinue by the U.S. State Department. Seven scrapbooks (1920-1959) containing clippings and articles, illustrations, scattered letters, photographs, invitations, artwork, and other materials detailing Lamarque's extensive artistic career and his amateur magic performances are also found within the collection. In addition, the collection includes biographical information; scattered correspondence (1922-1990) and financial records (1924-1962); published and unpublished writings and lectures (1925-1999) in the form of book reviews, lectures, articles on publication design, and a typewritten manuscript Lamarque wrote in the late 1970s on the principles of publication design; original artwork such as caricatures, pencil sketches, and illustrations by Abril Lamarque, his brother Juan Abril Lamarque, and other artists; and numerous photographs (1924-1986) documenting Lamarque's private and professional life.
Also found are files on Abril Lamarque Creations (1940-1945), a design studio owned by Lamarque focusing on the design and manufacture of modern decorative accessories for the home, such as serving trays, cigarette holders and jewelry. Lamarque also designed small airmail labels and sold them through Woolworth's discount stores in the 1940s.
The collection includes several subject files (1904-1996) concerning the Barcardi company, for which Lamarque designed a company logo and annual reports, the Dell Publishing Company, and Cuban caricaturist and publisher Conrado Massaguer. The material on Massaguer includes a rare 1933 edition of the New York weekly magazine, Knickerbocker Jr., filled with Massaguer's illustrations, several covers of his celebrated magazine Social, published in Havana between the years 1916 and 1938, and pages from the "Ellos" section of Social, a segment that included Massaguer's caricatures of prominent members of Cuban high society. Included is a large color poster of one of Massaguer's most famous caricatures, "Doble Nueve," with a handwritten dedication inscribed on the right. 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.
Abril Lamarque papers, 1883-2001, bulk, 1904-1999. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Abril Lamarque (1904-1999) was a cartoonist, designer, illustrator, art director, and graphic artist from New York, N.Y. Full name Eduardo Abril Lamarque; b. Cuba, 1904 Aug. 28; d. 1999 Jan. 25.
Portions of the papers are in Spanish.
Donated 2001 by Martha Lamarque Sarno and Lita M. Elvers, daughters of Eduardo Abril Lamarque.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001