Portraits of Westport: Inspiration for New Yorker covers showcased
Published 7:54 am, Thursday, September 3, 2015
“Talk of the Town” — an exhibition of covers from The New Yorker magazine and photos of the Westport scenes that inspired them — will go on view Sept. 25 at the Westport Historical Society.
The new exhibit runs through Oct. 26 at the historical society, 25 Avery Place, and is planned in conjunction with the book, “The New Yorker in Westport,” by Eve Potts and Andrew Bentley.
A reception is planned Oct. 2, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the historical society.
This will be the second exhibition in the past two years at the Westport Historical Society to feature vintage New Yorker covers by Westport artists. The first was one of the organization’s most popular shows, according to the event publicity. It had the same title as the book and was curated by Potts, a member of the historical society’s Honorary Advisory Council.
The new exhibition will display a magazine cover alongside a matching photograph by Westport resident Michael Goss. The paired images nclude Compo Beach, Saugatuck Congregational Church, the train station and the Remarkable Book Shop. Others, according to Potts, are the artists’ impressions of Westport, which still had a rural feel, with working farms, when some of the earlier covers were painted.
“In many respects,” Goss said in a release from the historical society, “the landmarks and lifestyles painted by The New Yorker’s artists have changed surprisingly little in the past 100 years.”
Goss, a retired financial executive, said his photographs are an attempt to “mimic” the images portrayed on the covers. He took 16 photographs in all. Potts said the exhibition will display approximately 20 covers along with the Goss photos.
The coffee table-size “The New Yorker in Westport” features 50 full-size covers of Westport scenes. Each cover is accompanied by facts and stories from Westport’s history. Potts said she and Westport resident Andrew Bentley collaborated on the text. Featured artists include Charles Addams, Perry Barlow, Whitney Darrow Jr., Edna Eicke, Arthur Getz, Alice Harvey, Helen Hokinson, Albert Hubbell, David Preston, Garrett Price and Charles Saxon.
Potts, the author of “Westport … a special place,” published by the historical society in 1985, is a longtime member of the society. She has served as its vice president, secretary and member of the board of directors.
Bentley has BA degree in economics from Harvard and an MA from Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London. “The New Yorker in Westport,” for which he did the layout and design, is his first book.
Hours for “Talk of The Town,” from Sept. 25 through Oct. 26, are Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays, noon to 4 p.m.