In 1951 the magazines Time and Life published interviews with M.C. Escher, both done by journalist Israel Shenker. These publications fuelled international interest in his work, but in 1954 things really got out of hand. In September Escher had a successful exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam during the International Congress of Mathematicians 1954, followed by another one in the Whyte Gallery in Washington D.C. He sold 86 out of 114 prints (for over 13,000 guilders), a result never before achieved by a Dutch graphic artist in the US*.
In the wake of these autumn exhibitions, orders for his prints kept pouring in. On 25 October 1954, during the expo in Washington, Time magazine published another article on Escher (entitled ‘The Gamesman’). The artist was put on a pedestal, and from that moment on American interest in his work would surge.
The intro in Time:
‘Maurits Cornells Escher (rhymes with mesher) looks like an El Greco cardinal in modern mufti. A gaunt, stooped 56, he wears his white spade beard, sport jacket and grey flannels with the air of a severe fellow who knows what matches what. Odd yet precise matches are Escher’s forte.’
[*] Wim Hazeu, M.C. Escher, Een biografie, Meulenhoff, 1998, page 333-334