Covarrubias, Miguel (mēgālˈ kōvär-rōˈbēäs) [key], 1902–57, American artist and writer, b. Mexico City. Largely self-taught, he went to New York City in 1923 and won prompt recognition as a brilliant illustrator, stage designer, and caricaturist. His drawings and caricatures for Vanity Fair and the New Yorker are superb examples of his early work. He also was a noted muralist and lithographer. In the late 1920s he became interested in ethnology. His first major book, The Island of Bali, appeared in 1937. He later wrote three excellent studies of the life and art of Native Americans, Mexico South (1946), The Eagle, the Jaguar, and the Serpent (1954), and Indian Art of Mexico and Central America (1957).
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