A Very Esquire Christmas

Esquire Magazine’s Christmas issue, published in December 1943, contains a wide variety of articles (everything from political to camp) interspersed with foldout pinups by Vargas in addition to numerous photography pieces and advertisements.


Cover illustration by L.S. Soderstrom

One of the political pieces in this issue are the three dimensional concepts created by Salvador Dali.


Three Christmas Allegories, three dimensional concepts by Salvador Dali, p.87


Three Christmas Allegories, three dimensional concepts by Salvador Dali, p.88

One section contains illustrations of the “girls you left behind,” a page for each different type of girl: the farmer’s daughter, the city slicker, the angel of mercy, the defense darling, and the burlesque beauty.


Unknown artist, p.139

One section, titled Talking Dolls and Silent Screens, compared and contrasted “some of today’s stars and starlets…with yesterday’s loveliest stars.”


Betty Blythe and Julie Bishop; photograph by Henry Waxman, p.98

A Christmas gift list was artfully compiled to provide inspiration when drafting one’s wish list.


The war is a constant presence in illustrations and articles throughout the issue.


Illustration by Frank Beaven, p.116


Illustration by E. Simms Campbell, p.106


To see the table of contents of this issue visit the Esquire archive. All images are from the Walt Reed Illustration Archive at the Dowd Modern Graphic History Library.  Contact us to make an appointment if you would like view these items.

About the author

Andrea Degener is the Visual Materials Processing Archivist in the department of Special Collections at Washington University Libraries.