Thursday, December 31, 2009


Cartoonist and illustrator David Levine passed away on Tuesday at the age of 83.

Levine was one of the most highly regarded caricature artists of his generation, having started out providing marginalia for Esquire magazine, and by 1963 settling into a long and singular career as the only illustrator at The New York Review of Books. Over 40 years he provided more than 3,800 drawings for NYRB, ranging from illustrations of the day's political figures to historical personalities to scathing editorial cartoons.

Levine's work was part of the signature of one of the greatest American intellectual journals, and will be simply impossible to to replace. Levine's artwork is in the permanent collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Library of Congress, the Cleveland Museum, the National Portrait Collection, the National Portrait Gallery in Britain and the Pierpont Morgan Library & Museum in New York. Many of his drawings for the NYRB are viewable on an online archive that includes 2,500 illustrations dating back to his earliest years at the magazine.

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