Sunday, April 23, 2017

The New Yorker's Geraghty Era at The Westport Historical Society's 2014 Exhibit

Between 1925 and 1989, 17 New Yorker artists living in and around Westport-Weston produced a remarkable 767 covers for The New Yorker Magazine. Some 44 of the covers actually depict Westport scenes.
So started the introduction to the Westport Historical Society's wonderful 2014 exhibit Cover Story: The New Yorker in Westport "focusing especially on the influence of The New Yorker’s 'idea man' turned Art Editor, James Geraghty" (New York Times coverage here).

Sailor Rose had sent one of their beautiful shirts.

The Geraghty Family

On April 12, 2014, some of the children of the editor and artists from this time period gathered for a panel discussion. This included friend Sarah Geraghty Herndon, daughter of Art Editor James Geraghty.  She went down to Connecticut from the Maine coast to take part with her brother.

The New Yorker's Geraghty Era: 1939 to 1973.

James Geraghty's Daughter, Sarah Geraghty Herndon

James Geraghty's Son,  Jim Geraghty
Covers from the Geraghty Era include the following:

Sarah and Jim were joined by Sarah Getz, daughter of artist Arthur Getz, here in front of some of her father's work.

Sue Geraghty, Sarah Getz, and Sarah Herndon
Marine photographer Peter Barlow, son of Perry Barlow, was also there.

Peter Barlow's Mother and Her Famous Drawing.

Perry Barlow's cover was the inspiration for the famous song.

Peter Barlow, Son of Perry Barlow

At the time of the exhibit, one could walk the short distance...

...ignoring Ann Taylor...

... Brooks Brothers Fleece...

...Jack Wills...

... Vineyard Vines,...

...and Allen Edmonds,... Oscar's, what had been a local institution since 1948 and vestige of the Geraghty Era Westport.

One would have likely been greeted warmly....

...hopefully met some of Westport's finest...

...and if lucky, received a sample of some fabulous macaroons.

Oscar's has since shut down after being a hub of downtown Westport.   The late owner Lee Papageorge had retired due to an illness, and, in the words of his brother Luke, "Nobody else can keep it going.  This was his domain."
“Oscar’s was important to Westport because it was the embodiment of the small-town character that we all want to maintain for our community. Moreover, Lee Papageorge is a great example of the small business owner who is willing to go that extra mile to benefit the community,” Marpe said. <Westport News>
Owner Lee Papageorge
But thankfully, today, as Oscar's had been in Westport, Sarah Herndon's store remains a community hub in her Maine coast village.


  1. Stunning!
    Absolutely stunning!
    Thank you for the treasure pile of goodness!

  2. This may be my favorite of all your posts! Just wonderful. Although I do love your posts on china, furniture, and rugs. Isn't it time for a seasonal change of china?

  3. Great overview of this fabulous show.

  4. Anyone know the story behind the first cover photograph above with the two folk indicating opposite directions to the map holder ?

  5. This walk down memory lane was absolutely intriguing. The New Yorker covers depicting New England harkened me back to the vintage Bean catalog covers that resembled Norman Rockwell art. How I miss those days when life seemed so much simpler.

  6. So much agree with all the above... Truly beautiful, walk down memory lane and certainly life much simpler. Thank you! What fabulous Art. Miss it.

  7. If you get a chance, take a trip to the Brandywine River Museum - I believe you'll still see a retrospective of Saturday Evening Post covers that Andrew Wyeth painted. I predict that If you enjoyed this exhibit you'll enjoy that one as well. This museum's collection has a distinct sense of place and history, which I believe adds to any visit to that part of the country.


    - ER