Cover Story: The New Yorker in Westport at the Westport Historical Society

The Westport Historical Society located on 25 Avery Place in Westport is hosting an exhibit, Cover Story: The New Yorker in Westport and “Can’t Tell a Book by its Cover…” through April 26.

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This exhibition focus’s on the fact that between 1925 and 1989, 13 New Yorker artists living in and around Westport-Weston produced a remarkable 695 covers for The New Yorker Magazine. Some 44 of the covers actually depict Westport scenes.

These two exhibits share the covers and the story-behind-the-story, focusing on the influence of The New Yorker’s “idea man” turned Art Editor , James Geraghty, who–with wife Eva–first lived on Rayfield Rd, Westport before moving to Old Redding Rd. in Weston. Throughout the Geraghty era (1939 to 1973), often with an element of wit, The New Yorker’s cover images mirrored the commuter lifestyle of his Connecticut-based artists, including Garrett Price, James Daugherty, Perry Barlow, Alice Harvey, Helen Hokinson, Edna Eicke, Arthur Getz, Reginald Massie, Whitney Darrow, Jr., Charles Saxon, Albert Hubbell, Donald Reilly and John Norment. Curator Eve Potts draws from artifacts, anecdotes and correspondence provided by the families of Geraghty and these artists, who also did innumerable drawings for the magazine.

Never, as visitors will see in “Can’t Tell a Book by its Cover…” in the Mollie Donovan Gallery, was that more true than the Aug. 31, 1946 New Yorker, a single-story issue. The story? Hiroshima, by writer John Hersey, who shortly thereafter moved to Turkey Hill South (the home later sold to Andy & Martha Stewart) in Westport.

Hersey , considered the “Father of the New Journalism,” not only was a member of Geraghty’s local New Yorker Friday afternoon bowling team (Westport Bowling Lanes, in winter) and golf team (Longshore, in summer), he served for a period of time on the Town of Westport Board of Education.

The Westport Historical Society is open Monday – Friday 10 – 4 p.m.and Saturday 12 – 4 p.m. For more information http://westporthistory.org. For information on Fairfield County www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

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