Alan Dunn and The New Yorker

Founded in 1925, The New Yorker magazine has played a fundamental role in the development of American satire. With a subscription of close to one million readers, the titular focus of the magazine has not restricted its readership, which reaches throughout the United States as well as abroad. Over the last eighty years The New Yorker has consolidated a superlative reputation for its reportage, essays, fiction, poetry, criticism and – of course – cartoons, becoming one of American’s most important cultural institutions.

The thirty-eight images in this exhibition encompass several decades of work created by the The New Yorker’s most prolific artist, Alan Dunn, whose gentle satire epitomizes the humor of the magazine. The illustrated weekly was the brainchild of Harold Ross, an editor of mass-market weeklies who had a talent for entrepreneurship. He started The New Yorker in 1925 as a humorous literary magazine catering to affluent, educated urbanites. His insistence on a publication with sophisticated articles, drawings and cartoons permanently affected American topical humor.

The exhibited drawings examine the relationship between Americans and European cultures, especially that of Italy. Dunn’s social satires often illustrate American tourists’ provincial nature and myopic sense of superiority. His abilities at drawing architecture found an outlet in these drawings and it is possible to identify several of the settings used in his cartoons, among them the Roman Forum with the Temple of Castor, and the Basilica of Maxentius. Also included in the exhibition are three illustrations intended as cover images for The New Yorker and a selection of roughs – quick drawings Dunn submitted to the magazine that would be completed if approved by the editorial review committee.

Number of objects: 38
Installation Space: 150 linear feet
Brochure Available