at the apex of hip and cool

Arthur Getz and and when the New Yorker was hip…

Art Chantry (

The thing that is so marvelous about the covers from the New Yorker magazine is that those people who put them together strived SO HARD to reflect the personality of the moment of that fabled city. We are all famously in love with the Gotham of new york. It’s our emerald city, our house on the hill, the seat of power. Dunno why. My guess is that the media industry in America is based there and they tend to be lazy and focus on local stories. So, if somebody farts in New York City, it’s national headline news. witness ‘The Donald.’

New York city has an ego the size of, well, New York city. Just ask them, they’ll tell you to your face. They’re really proud of their pride. It’s really annoying. It’s like they think no place else actually exists and never did. Never mind that everybody in that city who makes a mark moved there two years prior. If you ignore 9/11, that town hasn’t been the center of anything important (except bank fraud) for decades and decades. The west has been where’s it at since the 1960′s. But that’s just one man’s opinion.

---AC: lots of musicians from the 1950's also doubled as poets, actors and painters, etc. they were representative of a new alternate way of thinking - the intellectual 'hipster.' so, i thought it might have been pretty cool if he actually did this cover. i knew i was probably wrong. but i just wanted to ask the question because it represents an interesting art direction idea that the OLD new yorker might actually have used (unlike today's new yorker). click image for more...

Anyway, this cover is from the OLD New Yorker – the magazine that actually established it’s reputation decades ago. The cover series back then was reflecting a different city, a different culture. THAT New York city was profound and subtle. It was dark. It was moody. It was dirty and a little scary edgy. But, it seems to have been far far more sophisticated in it’s attitude and wit. It handled it’s wisdom and power with great understanding. Comparing the old New yorker Covers to the covers from the last, say, oh…. 15 years, is like comparing a Delta bluesman to a frat boy. No contest.

who is the ‘Getz’ who did this image? Could it actually be Stan Getz, the jazz musician? If so, that would be even more ‘ultra’. This January, 1958, cover is the apex of hip and cool and suave. It depicts the New York city that America came to admire and emulate for so long. It’s nothing like the infantile ‘wit’ and self-important psuedo-sophistication the New Yorker covers exhibit these days.

Arthur Getz. World Series at Pete's Reaturant. 1956. Arthur Getz was the most prolific cover artist in the history of The New Yorker magazine. Over a fifty-year period, 1938 to 1988, 213 Getz covers were printed. He also contributed hundreds of "spot" drawings to the magazine. click image for more

Looking at this wonderful New Yorker cover still makes me yearn to live in that city of our collective dreams, even though that city ceased to exist generations ago. It makes me wish I was born in a different era. Looking at what passes for ‘contemporary’ New Yorker covers these days just makes me spit on the sidewalk.

During his life Bill Evans appeared several times on the covers of authoritative jazz periodicals around the world, always in combination with reviews on his music, awards or interviews with him. From the book “The Complete Book Of Covers From The New Yorker”, the issue dated Jan 4, 1958 is a painting of a jazz trio and the pianist was definitely Bill Evans. Read More:

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