Harriet Meserole, American (1893 - 1993)

Harriet Meserole

Harriet Meserole was born in NYC, 7 April 1893. She joined Vogue around 1916-1918.

Harriet Meserole maintained a constant presence throughout the twenties, as much on Vogue's cover as inside the magazine. Emerging from the decorative aftermath of Art Nouveau, by the middle 20's, her graphic identity was clearly established, a delightfully mannered, disciplined simplicity and calm elegant sophistication. She was at times prepared to lace it with harder, sharper, more daring line.

In 1923, she says about herself "I like simplicity in all things and people. I hate prettiness and ice cream. I also like being one of your younger artists."

In 1924 Leon Bakst creates a collection of 10 new crepe prints, and Harriet Meserole, the most instinctively Parisian and stylized of Vogue's artists in New York, shows them off as lovely garments. These new prints make wonderful dresses, in their brilliant hues and original designs. A storm of approval indeed follows.

In 1926 a sketch could only encourage the prospective voyager and another sketch from 1928, of a girl in the rain both appear in the book "Fashion Drawing in Vogue."

As always her illustration shows a cool and beautiful American lady. This was her last cover for Vogue although she continued to do sketches within the magazine.

By 1933 she is a notable absentee from Vogue covers or illustrations and given the impressive substance of her work for Vogue over so many years, such neglect is remarkable. Unfortunately, within another year or so, she had gone for good.

Harriet Meserole died in Brooklyn 13 February 1989.

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