I love learning new things.
Magnaverde has kindly offered to scan in some of his New Yorker covers with Mary Petty's illustrations on them and send them to me for posting. I have also told Soodie that I will send her scans of the Goodbye illustrations, but I will also post them here. If you have anything to include, pass it along, and I will add it! It looks like we'll be doing Mary Petty for the next day or so!When the Peak of Chic interviewed Nick Harvill about his favourite books, he mentioned the classic Goodbye Mr. Chippendale by T.H. Robsjohn Gibbings, and illustrated by Mary Petty. I had found this book at Book Thing a while ago, and had even written a post or two about it.
I know about Robsjohn-Gibbings, but I didn't know anything about Mary Petty. Apparently, she had quite a career as an illustrator, having nearly 40 New Yorker covers to her credit. She and cartoonist Charles Addams were the two favourite cartoonists of then New Yorker publisher Harold Ross.
Her character, Fay, the Victorian-era maid shown on the cover of Goodbye Mr. Chippendale, also appears on a number of the New Yorker covers. In the 39 years that she illustrated for them, the world was transitioning from the Victorians to the mid-century moderns, and she worked to capture these changes which were difficult for many. Her detailed pen and ink drawings were perfect for Goodbye Mr. Chippendale with all of his disdain for the Victorian style.
Mary Petty was married to Alan Dunn, a cartoonist with more than 1900 published in the New Yorker. She died in 1975 as a result of a mugging several years earlier.