Arthur-Getz

The New Yorker, March 3, 1973. Arthur Getz.

“He drew inspiration equally from the nightclubs of Manhattan and the apple orchards of New England; but his covers, taken as a group, seem really to be about the joy of painting itself. He preferred a high-keyed palette, and laid on his colors with an energy and directness that often led him to the edge of Abstract Expressionism.” – Lee Lorenz

Flashback 59 years ago today to the cover of the April 14, 1956 New Yorker Magazine, featuring The Knickerbocker Greys in an illustration by Arthur Getz. Founded in 1881, The Knickerbocker Grey Cadet Corps is the oldest after school activity in the USA. Cadets undergo a series of experiences that build confidence, improve self-esteem, develop character, and leadership skills. Over time the Greys drilled in a number of different Armories and in 1902 were invited by the Commanding Officer of the Regiment, Colonel Daniel Appleton to make the renowned Seventh Regiment Armory on Park Avenue their permanent home. By 1912 there was a two year waiting list to join the Greys and their popularity was such that many schools were forced to close their athletic programs on Tuesdays and Fridays due to the many students leaving to report to duty at the Armory. Over 4,500 New Yorkers have been members of the Greys over the past 134 years, some from its highest social ranks, including philanthropists Nelson Rockefeller and John D Rockefeller III, military officer Cornelius Vanderbilt III, actor Douglas Fairbanks Jr., and New York City Mayor John Lindsay. We salute you!

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I’ve always been attracted to the idea of the quiet moment. (If I were analyzing myself, I think it would stretch back to my mother reading me Goodnight, Moon, reportedly my favorite book, as a toddler) And my favorite New Yorker covers are the ones that communicate the quiet moments in a normally bustling city. Arthur Getz was one of the best at conveying this mood. 

New Yorker, May 2, 1970. Arthur Getz (1913-1996).

Former New Yorker art editor Lee Lorenz wrote of Getz: “He drew inspiration equally from the nightclubs of Manhattan and the apple orchards of New England; but his covers, taken as a group, seem really to be about the joy of painting itself. He preferred a high-keyed palette, and laid on his colors with an energy and directness that often led him to the edge of Abstract Expressionism.”

May 6, 1961, used to be 25 cents per..

Arthur Getz moved to New York City in 1935 and, like many of the struggling artists of his time, began submitting illustrations to magazines and other publications. He sold his first “spot" drawings and cover to The New Yorker magazine in 1936; this first cover was actually printed on July 23, 1938. Thus began an association with the magazine that spanned over fifty years and ended with Getz’s self-proclaimed “retirement" from New Yorker work in 1988. Fluent in the visual language of both city and country, Getz’s boldly colored covers and his curvy signature soon became a recognizable part of the magazine’s image. From the late 1940s on it was not uncommon for several Getz covers to appear on the The New Yorker during a single month.

The New Yorker Magazine, March 3, 1962


Probably my favorite magazine cover ever. I think I first saw it at one of those stalls around Rockefeller Center where they sell reprints in frames. You can see that it’s already early evening in the lower part of the city as rows of lights are already burning. But the sun hasn’t completely set, and there are traces of it along the Empire State Building. Thank you, Arthur Getz.