New Years Eve at the Stork Club

Stork Club postcard illustration by Albert Dorne

Several years ago one of Jeff's colleagues, knowing that I appreciated all things mid-century New York glam, gave me this vintage Stork Club postcard. I put it on display near my desk and it became part of my daily landscape until a few days ago when I decided to take a closer look, being curious about the identity of the artist. I typically pore over every detail of new ephemera, but for some reason I didn't get around to this postcard until a few days ago. Anyway, I could make out a signature at the bottom right: Albert Dorne. After some light research, including checking out our copy of Famous American Illustrators (a great reference book, by the way), it turns out that Albert Dorne was a major illustrator in the early 20th century—quite a character actually. This particular piece was created circa 1941, published in Collier's magazine, then used as the Stork Club's menu cover for many years until the club closed. It depicts New Years Eve with many celebrities of the time pictured in the Stork Club's main room. I'm not sure I can tell exactly who's who, but that has to be Lana Turner in the bottom right corner (with Dorne's signature on her shoulder). Others shown include Tallulah Bankhead, Walter Winchell, Arthur Godfrey, Joan Crawford, and club owner Sherman Billingsley.

posted by Rachel