Thursday, March 11, 2021

Video: The Compleat Charles Addams Gallery Show 1994

There are some great gallery shows, but most of them you have to miss. Traveling is a no-no in COVID times. Another problem is time. Here's some video of a New York Public Library exhibit of Charles Addams' cartoons, which takes care of travel and time.

"The Compleat Charles Addams" gallery show was in the main rotunda of the NYPL (the one with the lions in front) in 1994. CBS Sunday Morning's Bill Geist hosts, with Paul Rudnick acting as tour guide. 

I was fortunate to visit this show a couple of times back in the day. And I found out that he had a special relationship with the museum.

From the February 16, 1994 New York Times:

"The library has a special connection with Mr. Addams, explained Susan F. Saidenberg, because he used the picture collection there for more than 30 years. 'He insisted on accuracy in his drawings,' said Ms. Saidenberg, the library's manager of exhibitions. Mr. Addams would stroll over to visit the collection on the main floor of the library from his office at The New Yorker on 43d Street, she said.

"Mr. Addams's first New Yorker drawing was published in 1932, she said; it was followed by 1,200 more, including 75 covers; the last drawing appeared posthumously in the magazine on Feb. 22, 1993. The cartoon, on display in the show, portrays a fatuous king saying to his subjects, 'And now, as an experiment in democracy, I'm decreeing free elections to choose the national bird.'"

Here's a chance to wander around the NYPL and look at these great original drawings -- like so many activities these days (but not for too much longer): virtually.

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