Tuesday, November 11, 2014

EXHIBITION: MAC CONNOR: The Saga of an Original "Mad Man"

"The Trouble with Love" (1952) © Mac Conner
(Is that Betty Draper on the left?)

For those of us who love graphics from the Mad Men era, there's an embarrassment of riches to enjoy this season at the Museum of the City of New York. Running now through Jan. 19, 2015, this lesser-known gem of the city's Museum Mile will be presenting McCauley "Mac" Conner’s illustrations, hand-painted for advertising campaigns and fiction articles in women’s magazines such as RedbookMcCall’s and Woman's DayConnor's creativity peaked during the years following World War II -- a time when commercial artists were instrumental in redefining American style and promoting the culture of suburbia.

Connor was strongly influenced by Norman Rockwell's tender and humorous portrayal of homespun Americana, and incorporated a touch of Roy Lichtenstein’s pop art sensibility into his art as well. He is now 100 years old, and planned to attend the opening of this first-ever museum exhibition of his work. “I intend to be there,” Mr. Conner said, "particularly if martinis are to be served."

Illustration for "Let's Take a Trip Up the Nile" in This Week magazine (1950)

"Strictly Respectable", Redbook (1953)

 "How Do You Love Me",  Woman's Home Companion (1950)

I just had to include this illustration, if only for the title ...
 "The Girl Who Was Crazy About Jimmy Durante", Woman's Day, (1953)

To watch a 2014 interview with Mac Connor produced by the 
Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies, link here.

To read an excellent review of this exhibition in the Wall St. Journal, 
written by one of their regular music writers, link here .

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