Vanity Fair is a glossy American glamour magazine monthly that offers a mixture of articles on high-brow culture, jet-set and entertainment-business personalities, politics, and current affairs. The editor-in-chief is E. Graydon Carter.
Vanity Fair was originally founded as a British weekly magazine in 1868 by Thomas Gibson Bowles. Subtitled "A Weekly Show of Political, Social, and Literary Wares", it offered its Victorian- and Edwardian-era readership articles on current events and issues of the day, reviews of the theatre, new books, reports on social events, and the latest scandals, together with serialized fiction, word games, and other trivia. However the magazine was perhaps best known for its caricatures. More than two thousand of these caricatures appeared of subjects that included artists, athletes, royalty, statesmen, scientists, authors, actors, soldiers and scholars.
Produced by an international group of artists, the illustrations are considered the chief cultural legacy of the magazine and form a pictorial record of the period. Among the artists who contributed illustrations were Max Beerbohm, Sir Leslie Ward (who signed his work "Spy"), the Italian Carlo Pellegrini (known as "Ape"), the French artist James Jacques Tissot, and the American Thomas Nast. Another main issue is star photography by leading people photographers; among them well-known Annie Leibovitz.
After Bowles sold his interest in the magazine in 1889, it changed hands several times and was then merged with Hearth and Home, whereupon it lost its name.
Vanity Fair was revived in its current form in the 1980s by New York-based publisher group Condé Nast. Under editors Tina Brown (1984-1992) and E. Graydon Carter (1992-), the magazine enjoyed greater circulation and prestige.
Dorothy Parker wrote theatre criticisms for them. Claire Boothe Luce was its editor for some time. In 1996, Marie Brenner wrote an exposé on the tobacco industry, entitled The Man Who Knew Too Much. This article was later converted to a movie, The Insider.