Art Deco Fortune Magazine Cover February 1940

PRESENTING a FABULOUS Art Deco Fortune Magazine Cover from February 1940.

The famous and iconic 10th Anniversary Edition – 1930 – 1940 framed and matted.

This is an ORIGINAL COVER, not a re-print or copy. It is the cover of an actual 1940 Fortune Magazine and we can 100% certify it’s authenticity. We have attached a COA on the back of the frame.

AS a REAL ADDED BONUS … it has attached to the back (in acid free plastic pouches) the original letter from the Editor consisting of 3 pages and dated January 20, 1940 to the Subscriber and signed by Eric Hodgins.

The frame is a gilt wood frame, with acid free green and white beveled matting. Glass front. The frame and matting are perfect for the style of the era and really show off the cover.

The cover print is a an industrial image depicting paper manufacture in classic ART DECO STYLE !

The cover is in near mint condition as can be seen from the photos.

This is one of the more iconic covers of Fortune !.

Eric Francis Hodgins (March 2, 1899 – January 7, 1971) was the American author of the popular novel Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, illustrated by William Steig.

Hodgins was born in Detroit, Michigan to the Episcopal clergyman Frederic Brinkley Hodgins and Edith Gertrude Bull on March 2, 1899. He attended the Trinity School in New York City, from which he graduated in 1917. After working for a year, he entered Cornell University in 1918 and transferred to Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Autumn 1919.[1]

He graduated from MIT in 1922 with a chemical engineering degree. While at MIT, he was editor of VooDoo, the student humor magazine.[2] After graduation, he was managing editor of Technology Review until 1927.[3] From 1927-29, he was editor of The Youth’s Companion. In 1929, he became an advertising salesman and then associate editor for Redbook.[1] In 1933, he became associate managing editor of Fortune magazine, promoted to managing editor in 1935 and publisher from 1937-41. From 1941-46 he was a vice-president of Time Inc..[4] While at Fortune, he wrote an exposé of the European munitions industry, published in March 1934 as “Arms and the Men”.[5] He resigned from Time Inc. in 1946 to become a full-time writer.

In 1930, he married Catherine Carlson, who had been an editorial assistant at The Youth’s Companion. She died on January 20, 1933[6] while giving birth to their son, Roderic.[1] In 1936, he married Eleanor Treacy, an art editor at Fortune, with whom he had a daughter, Patricia.[4]

From 1929-32, he wrote several books on aviation and transportation with Frederick Alexander Magoun, who had been an instructor at MIT when Hodgins was a student there.[7] In April 1946, he wrote an article for Fortune called “Mr. Blandings Builds His Castle”, a fictional account of the real-life troubles he encountered while building a house in New Milford, Connecticut. Later that year, he turned the article into a book, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, which was a best-seller. The novel was adapted as a popular movie of the same name, starring Cary Grant and Myrna Loy.

In real life, the house was completed in 1939 but was so expensive (costing $56,000 while the original budget was $11,000), that Hodgins was forced to sell it in 1945 for $38,000 to John Allard, a retired Air Force general. Hodgins unsuccessfully tried to buy the house back after receiving $200,000 from movie rights to the book. In 1953, the house was sold to Ralph Gulliver who gave it to his son Jack in 1972.[8] In 1980, the house was sold to the author and composer Stephen Citron and his wife, the biographer and novelist Anne Edwards.[9] In 2004, the house was sold for $1.2 million.

His next novel was a sequel called Blandings’ Way about a liberal man working in advertising who wanted to do good but was accused of being a Communist. He thought it was a better book, but it was overshadowed by the success of the earlier one.

On January 8, 1960, he suffered a stroke.[10] He described the stroke and long recovery in Episode: Report On the Accident Inside My Skull, published in 1964. It received the Howard W. Blakeslee Award from the American Heart Association.[1] At the time of his death in 1971, he was writing an autobiography that was published posthumously as Trolley to the Moon: An Autobiography


Fortune was founded by The Atlantic Monthly Company co-founder Henry Luce in 1929 as “the Ideal Super-Class Magazine”, a “distinguished and de luxe” publication “vividly portraying, interpreting and recording the Industrial Civilization”.[4] Briton Hadden, Luce’s business partner, was not enthusiastic about the idea – which Luce originally thought to title Power – but Luce went forward with it after Hadden’s sudden death on February 27, 1929.[5]

In late October 1929, the Wall Street Crash of 1929 occurred, marking the onset of the Great Depression. In a memo to the Time Inc. board in November 1929, Luce wrote: “We will not be over-optimistic. We will recognize that this business slump may last as long as an entire year.”[6] The publication made its official debut in February 1930. Its editor was Luce, managing editor Parker Lloyd-Smith, and art director Thomas Maitland Cleland.[7] Single copies of the first issue cost US$1 ($15.3 in 2019).[6] An urban legend says that Cleland mocked up the cover of the first issue with the $1 price because no one had yet decided how much to charge; the magazine was printed before anyone realized it, and when people saw it for sale, they thought that the magazine must really have worthwhile content. In fact, there were 30,000 subscribers who had already signed up to receive that initial 184-page issue. By 1937, the number of subscribers had grown to 460,000, and the magazine had turned half million dollars in annual profit.[8]

At a time when business publications were little more than numbers and statistics printed in black and white, Fortune was an oversized 11″×14″, using creamy heavy paper, and art on a cover printed by a special process.[9] Fortune was also noted for its photography, featuring the work of Margaret Bourke-WhiteAnsel Adams, and others. Walker Evans served as its photography editor from 1945 to 1965.

During the Great Depression, the magazine developed a reputation for its social conscience, for Walker Evans and Margaret Bourke-White‘s color photographs, and for a team of writers including James AgeeArchibald MacLeishJohn Kenneth Galbraith, and Alfred Kazin, hired specifically for their writing abilities. The magazine became an important leg of Luce’s media empire;[citation needed] after the successful launch of Time in 1923 and Fortune in 1930, Luce went on to launch Life in 1936 and Sports Illustrated in 1954.

From its launch in 1930 to 1978, Fortune was published monthly. In January 1978, it began publishing biweekly. In October 2009, citing declining advertising revenue and circulationFortune began publishing every three weeks.[10][11] As of 2018, Fortune is published 14 times a year.


Art Deco, sometimes referred to as Deco, is a style of visual arts, architecture and design that first appeared in France just before World War I.[1] Art Deco influenced the design of buildings, furniture, jewelry, fashion, cars, movie theatres, trains, ocean liners, and everyday objects such as radios and vacuum cleaners.[2] It took its name, short for Arts Décoratifs, from the Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes (International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts) held in Paris in 1925.[3] It combined modern styles with fine craftsmanship and rich materials. During its heyday, Art Deco represented luxury, glamour, exuberance, and faith in social and technological progress.

Art Deco was a pastiche of many different styles, sometimes contradictory, united by a desire to be modern. From its outset, Art Deco was influenced by the bold geometric forms of Cubism and the Vienna Secession; the bright colors of Fauvism and of the Ballets Russes; the updated craftsmanship of the furniture of the eras of Louis Philippe I and Louis XVI; and the exotic styles of China and JapanIndiaPersiaancient Egypt and Maya art. It featured rare and expensive materials, such as ebony and ivory, and exquisite craftsmanship. The Chrysler Building and other skyscrapers of New York built during the 1920s and 1930s are monuments of the Art Deco style.

In the 1930s, during the Great Depression, Art Deco became more subdued. New materials arrived, including chrome platingstainless steel, and plastic. A sleeker form of the style, called Streamline Moderne, appeared in the 1930s; it featured curving forms and smooth, polished surfaces.[4] Art Deco is one of the first truly international styles, but its dominance ended with the beginning of World War II and the rise of the strictly functional and unadorned styles of modern architecture and the International Style of architecture that followed.


Art Deco Fortune Magazine Cover February 1940.

Provenance: From a Wealthy Dallas Estate.

Condition: Near Mint. 

Dimensions: In Frame: 28″ Tall, 24″ Wide and 3″ Deep

PRICE Now: $675

Art Deco Fortune Magazine Cover February 1940

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