American illustrator Mary Petty began her career with The New Yorker magazine in 1927. During the 1930s the artist became more and more preoccupied with the upper class society who inhabited the brownstones and mansions of the Upper East Side of New York. The lifestyle and attitudes of wealthy, old money Victorian style society became the grist for Petty’s keen observations. Her satire, nearly always on target, was of a gentle variety that poked fun at human frailties and never seemed mean spirited. Central to her imagery were the characters of Mrs. Peabody and her maid, Fay. Petty used these two characters to explain, in a humorous vein, the foibles of New York’s elite. This exhibition includes 30 original watercolors dating from the early 1940s through the mid-1960s, which became iconic New Yorker magazine covers.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.