A Letter From The Publisher: Apr. 21, 1961

AMONG the many Americans jolted into action by the Soviet spaceman was Boris Chaliapin, swiftest of TIME'S cover artists. Chaliapin, son of the great Russian basso, has painted some 330 covers for TIME since the summer of 1942, and usually allows himself three days to do a portrait, whether working from his own sketches or from photographs. His most recent feat was painting John XXIII, immediately after his elevation as Pope, in 24 hours for the Nov. 10, 1958 issue of TIME. Last week, when wakened at 8 a.m. on Wednesday and asked to paint Spaceman Gagarin in a hurry, Artist...

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