Exhibit of New Yorker Covers Will Explore the ‘Lighter Side of Music’

An exhibit of New Yorker covers devoted to musical subjects will open at the Yale University Collection of Musical Instruments on Wednesday, May 12.

Titled “The Lighter Side of Music: New Yorker Covers (1931-2010),” the show features the works of 23 New Yorker artists, including Rose Silver, Abe Birnbaum, Perry Barlow, Mary Petty, Robert Tallon, William Steig and Peter De Seve.

Humor is the focus of the exhibition. Among the covers on view are Rea Irvin’s depiction of a musician practicing his large double bass within the confines of a small hotel room (Sept. 17, 1949) and Paul Degen’s rendering of a soaring skyscraper inspired by the shape of a grand piano (Nov. 12, 1990).

Scenes of symphony orchestras on-stage, off-stage, or “in the pit” have been a frequent subject of the magazine’s cover illustrators for eight decades, as seen in differing interpretations by Abner Dean, Julian De Miskey, Roger Duvoisin, Peter Arno, Arthur Getz, Charles Elmer Martin, John O’Brien and J.J. Sempé.

All of the covers on display are from the collection of Susan E. Thompson, curator of the museum. The exhibit will remain on view through Nov. 18.

The Yale Collection of Musical Instruments, located at 15 Hillhouse Ave., is open from September to June during the hours of 1-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday. It is closed July and August. Admission is free. For further information, visit www.yale.edu/musicalinstruments.

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