Grabbing a Glance and Holding It: A Look at Original Cover Art From The New Yorker

Whether they are humorous or heartfelt, simple or striking, the cover image chosen for each issue of The New Yorker bears the heavy burden; the cover must not only grab the viewers attention but hold it, perhaps a moment longer than one would often think to glance at a magazine cover. From festive seasonal imagery to poignant depictions of the current zeitgeist, these illustrations represent a particular type of artistic skill. It's only fitting then, that original cover art for The New Yorker in our annual auction of Illustration Art continues to increase in popularity. Below are some favorites from our upcoming auction on Thursday, January 28. 


Lot 235: Arthur Getz, The Cotton Candy Circus, casein tempera, cover illustration for The New Yorker, April 6, 1957. Estimate $2,000 to $3,000. 


Illustrator Arthur Getz is best known for best known for his 50-year career as a cover artist for The New Yorker. Over the course of his career two hundred and thirteen of his illustrations graced the cover. 

Lot 234: Arthur Getz, Camp Cook, casein tempera, cover illustration for The New Yorker, August 22, 1953.  Estimate $2,000 to $3,000. 

Lot 236: Arthur Getz, Sunset Lookout, casein tempera, proposed cover for The New Yorker. Estimate $700 to $1,000. 

It's hard to know what may change an editor's mind. Getz's notes on the back of Sunset Lookout indicate that it was created and bought for the January 1962 issue but later "killed" by editor Bob Gottlieb. 


Lot 240: Bud Handelsman, Canterbury Pilgrims, watercolor and ink on paper mounted to watercolored backing, cover art for The New Yorker, September 3, 1990.  Estimate $1,200 to $1,800. 

Cartoonist and illustrator Bud Handelsman was another New Yorker regular, producing both cover illustrations and iconic cartoons for the magazine for many years. 


Lot 242: Ilonka Karasz, Autumn Chairs, gouache, pen and pencil, cover art for The New Yorker, October 17, 1964. Estimate $1,500 to $2,500. 

This tranquil autumn scene is one of many cover illustrations done by Hungarian-born designer and illustrator Ilonka Karasz. Beyond her cover designs, Karasz created wallpaper, textiles, and even furniture and silverware. 


For more original artwork for New Yorker covers, as well as New Yorker cartoons, take a look at our full catalogue

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