Neysa McMein

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Neysa McMein displays her patriotic side in New York City in 1917.

This classic photograph shows commercial artist and portraitist Neysa McMein serving as a flag bearer during a 1917 New York City parade. The image originally appeared in the New York Times, but the photographer is unknown. McMein moved to New York from Illinois and became a wildly successful commercial artist who created covers for the Saturday Evening Post and numerous women’s publications of the day. She was also a steadfast member of the Algonquin Round Table and a feminist and early joiner of the Lucy Stone League, which believed women should keep their names after marriage. An excerpt about her from the Harpo Marx book, Harpo Speaks!:

“The biggest love affair in New York City was between me–along with two dozen other guys–and Neysa McMein. Like me, Neysa was an unliterary, semi-literate gate-crasher at the Algonquin. But unlike me, she was beautiful and bursting with talk and talent. A lot of us agreed she was the sexiest gal in town. Everybody agreed she was the best portrait and cover artist of the times.

Her studio was our third most favorite hangout, after the Algonquin and Woollcott‘s apartment. We had some wonderful parties at Neysa’s place, and I was always the last to leave.”

One of McMein's covers, a 1917 "Post" that also featured an article by Sinclair Lewis.

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