Thursday, June 21, 2018

"Tennis, Anyone?"—Arthur Getz "Killed" New Yorker Cover Art

"Killed" New Yorker cover art refers specifically to any cover purchased by the magazine but never published. Typically it is paid for, stored, and eventually returned to the artist unused.

A fine seasonal example by Arthur Getz is currently being exhibited at the Hotchkiss Library in Sharon, Connecticut. It takes a confident artist to place the foreground in shade. On a bright summer morning a young man sits outdoors reading on a chaise longue. He has brought with him two books, the Sunday paper, and an inviting pitcher of lemonade. He may think he has found the ideal way to enjoy a summer's day, but his friends show up with a different idea.

The cover, given the title "Tennis, Anyone?" by the artist, was purchased by the New Yorker's founding editor Harold Ross in 1950 or 1951, the year of his passing. For whatever reason, his successor William Shawn never ran it and the original illustration was returned to the artist in 1964. By this date, the car depicted was no longer a current model.

The artist describes the history of the piece in a notation on the back. Sarah Getz, Arthur's daughter, offers a personal perspective on the illustration. She writes, "Of course my dad loathed/never played/made fun of tennis, and much preferred reading peacefully in the shade. So I smile every time I look at this picture!"

Me too, Sarah, but for my own reasons. Happy summer!

Arthur Getz
"Tennis, Anyone?"
Killed New Yorker cover art, c. 1950-1951

Back of frame with the artist's notations

Note:  Thanks to Sarah Getz for providing these images.

This original killed New Yorker cover is currently on display in “The Art of Arthur Getz: City & Country” at the Hotchkiss Library in Sharon, CT, through June 30.

A second show of original work by Arthur Getz is “Covering New York: New Yorker Magazine Covers by Arthur Getz” at the Moviehouse Studio Gallery located in the Moviehouse, Millerton, NY, through August 28.


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