A cluster of flowers—in a vase, in a fist, in a field—serves as a focal point in each of these ten drawings, which span six decades of covers and cartoons for The New Yorker. In 1931, Barbara Shermund, one of the outstanding illustrators of the magazine’s early years, placed a bouquet between two confident women who muse about the downsides of marriage. Almost sixty years later, Roz Chast—one of today’s most accomplished cartoonists—reimagined Velázquez’s Spanish infantas as American girls-about-town with posies in hand. Ludwig Bemelmans, known for his series of Madeline books for children, used nothing but black line to portray a waiter creating a sinuous table arrangement. In the most recent selection, French artist André François repurposed a scrap of floral wallpaper by adding two bees who share a nectar toast upon a bed of roses.
This New Yorker bouquet is drawn from the extraordinary collection of over 1300 drawings for the magazine assembled by Melvin R. Seiden. The curator of the installation is Christine Nelson, Drue Heinz Curator of Literary and Historical Manuscripts.
A New Yorker Bouquet is made possible by the Janine Luke and Melvin R. Seiden Fund for Exhibitions and Publications.