New Yorker’s Golden Age of Art Celebrated in Westport, Connecticut

Chas. Addams & Jim Geraghty South Hampton 1947

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Above: Charles Addams at the wheel, with James Geraghty, The New Yorker‘s Art Editor from 1939 through 1973.  South Hampton, 1947)

 

For those wanting to bathe in the glow of New Yorker covers and art history from the magazine’s Golden Age, there’s no better place this winter than the Westport Historical Society where dual exhibits,  “Cover Story: The New Yorker in Westport and…Can’t Tell a Book by Its Cover”  are currently running (through April 26th).

 

l. to r. Charles Saxon, James Geraghty, Dana Fradon, Whitney Darrow, Jr. at Westport-Longshore Inn Sept. 1982

 

 

 

 

(Left: Charles Saxon, James Geraghty, Dana Fradon, and Whitney Darrow, Jr.  Westport, September, 1982.)

 

 

 

Along with a room full of  blow-ups of New Yorker covers and some original cover art by Garrett Price, Arthur Getz and John Norment,  are informative biographies of each of the 16 artists represented, with photographs of the artists.

As the exhibit’s catalog notes:

Between 1925 and 1989, 16 New Yorker artists living in and around Westport – Weston produced a remarkable 761 covers for The New Yorker, a phenomenon first identified by curator Eve Potts.

From less than 10 per year pre-1939, New Yorker covers by greater Westport artists climbed to a peak of 27 in 1957.

The 16 artists: Garrett Price, James Daugherty, Perry Barlow, Alice Harvey, Helen Hokinson, Edna Eicke, Arthur Getz, Charles Addams, Reginald Massie, Whitney Darrow, Jr., Charles Saxon, Albert Hubbell, Donald Reilly, Mischa Richter, David Preston, and John Norment (thumb-nail bios for those artists in bold can be found on Ink Spill’s New Yorker Cartoonists A-Z)

 

Geraghty:NYer 1948

 

James Geraghty, seen in the  photograph to the left,  settled with his family in Weston in 1949.  He was the anchor for the concentration of New Yorker art and artists thriving in and around Westport-Weston. The exhibit features a wall of photographs celebrating Mr. Geraghty’s career at the magazine (the photos shown here from the exhibit are courtesy of Sarah Geraghty Herndon)

 

 

(Left: Geraghty in his New Yorker office at 25 West 43rd St. 1948)

Mischa, Weston, 1950s

 

 

Perry Barlow & Lois Smith, 1959

 

 

 

 

(Mischa Richter, at the Geraghty’s.  Weston, Ct. 1950s)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Perry Barlow and Lois Smith at the Geraghty’s home, 1959).

 

 

 

Chuck Saxon & Jim Geraghty  New Yorker Office

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Left: Geraghty and Charles Saxon at The New Yorker)

 

 

Exhibit: “Cover Story: The New Yorker in Westport”

Cover Story

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From The Westport Historical Society webpage:

Between 1925 and 1989, 16 New Yorker artists living in and around Westport-Weston produced a remarkable 761 covers for The New Yorker Magazine.

The Westport Historical Society’s next two exhibits share the covers and the story-behind-the-story, focusing especially on the influence of The New Yorker’s “idea man” turned Art Editor, James Geraghty.

Link here to the Westport Society website for details. And also make sure to read Dorrie (Barlow) Thomas’s piece about her grandfather’s 1939 New Yorker cover (below) that inspired a famous Christmas song.

Barlow cover

Cat Cartoons a-plenty in the Big New Yorker Book of Cats

 

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Coming October 1st from Random House: The Big New Yorker Book of Cats ( you may remember that The Big New Yorker Book of Dogs was published almost exactly a year ago).  As you’d expect, the book boasts a huge number of cat themed cartoons and covers. Here’s a list of the cartoonists represented:

Charles Addams, Harry Bliss, George Booth, Roz Chast, Frank Cotham, Leo Cullum, Joe Dator, Eldon Dedini, Liza Donnelly, J.C. Duffy, Jules Feiffer, Ed Fisher, Ed Frascino, Alex Gregory, Sam Gross, William Hamilton, Bruce Eric Kaplan, Edward Koren, Arnie Levin, Lee Lorenz, Robert Mankoff, Henry Martin, Paul Noth, Donald Reilly, Mischa Richter, Victoria Roberts, Danny Shanahan, Bernard Schoenbaum, Edward Sorel, William Steig, Mick Stevens, Anthony Taber (represented by two multi-page spreads), Mike Twohy, Dean Vietor, Robert Weber, Christopher Weyant, Shannon Wheeler, Jack Ziegler

Cross-over cover artists (meaning those who have contributed both cartoons & covers to The New Yorker):  Charles Addams, Abe Birnbaum (his March 30, 1963 cover is of a lion), Ronald Searle, J.J. Sempe, Saul Steinberg, and Gahan Wilson

 

 

Ed Fisher dies at age 86

 

Bob Mankoff, the New Yorker’s cartoon editor has announced on his blog that long time New Yorker cartoonist, Ed Fisher has died at age 86.  Mr. Fisher contributed over 700 cartoons to the magazine, beginning with the issue of October 27, 1951.  His last cartoon appeared January 17, 2000 (this last cartoon appears on Bob Mankoff’s blog post along with several others). His New York Times obit (April 8, 2013) contains a good deal of biographical information.

 

The New Yorker’s former Art Editor/Cartoon Editor, Lee Lorenz, wrote in his book The Art of The New Yorker 1925 – 1995, that Ed was among the small pool of cartoonists once considered to succeed James Geraghty as Art Editor when Geraghty announced his retirement in 1972 after holding that position since 1939 (other candidates included Charles Barsotti and Donald Reilly).  Lorenz was appointed by the magazine’s editor, William Shawn, to succeed Geraghty in 1973.

 

Ed was among the generation of cartoonists — those who began contributing to the magazine before Lorenz became Art Editor —  whose cartoon ideas were often secured for the more established artists, like Whitney Darrow, Jr., George Price, or Peter Arno. In a letter dated September 2000, Ed wrote to me of his experience:

“…Geraghty would take one of my roughs and say ‘this one’s perfect for Arno.’ And sometimes I’d reluctantly agree and sometimes not. Jim harvested gags for several of the great masters from us newcomers…and now and then, leafing in one of the albums [those hardcover collections of cartoons the magazine once published]  I’ll suddenly remember: that’s my gag!”

 

Four collections of Fisher’s work were published: Ed Fisher’s First Folio (Macmillan,1959), Wine, Women and Woad: A Tale of Decadent Rome (Macmillan, 1960), and Ed Fisher’s Domesday Book (St. Martin’s, 1961). He was also a co-editor of The Art in Cartooning: Seventy-five Years of American Magazine Cartoons (Scribner, 1975).  Maestro, Please!  a collection of musician themed cartoons was published by Applause Books in the 1990s.

 

In the Foreward to his Domesday collection, Ed wrote:

You can judge a man not only by the company he keeps but by the jokes he tells. Gather a bundle of his jokes, lay them out neatly, study them — and you will find his philosophy of life, revealed, as in an essay.

 

By the time I met Ed he was a twenty-seven year veteran at The New Yorker, yet his demeanor suggested he had just walked into the office for the very first time to present his batch of cartoons to the editor. Energetic, open, supportive — a fellow enjoying to the hilt the strange world and community he was devoted to.

 

 

Below: Donald Reilly, Warren Miller, Ed Fisher and Joe Farris during a much needed break at the Arnold Newman photo shoot along the Hudson River, NYC,  1997. (photo by Liza Donnelly).