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Arts and Performance

Mary Petty: A Reader’s Privilege, A Woman’s Place

January 25, 2022March 11, 2022 EST

Syracuse University Art Museum

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American cartoonist Mary Petty (1899-1976) helped define New Yorker cartoons—illustrations of poised, genteel men and women having witty interactions in New York high society. But there is more to Petty’s work than satiric punchlines. A self-taught artist, Petty is best known for illustrating the lives of the wealthy Peabody family and their maid, Fay. While Petty frequently illustrated New York’s Victorian-era elites, she also illustrated working class women with similar wry wit. Petty’s artistic career took off just as the Great Depression reshaped American life, though her cartoons remained crystalized in Victorian decadence. Drawing from the museum’s large collection of her artwork, this exhibition considers Petty’s illustrations of working class and aristocratic women to explore how Petty represented (or omitted) race, gender, and class in a rapidly changing America. Curated by Kelli Fisher G’22

Museum Hours

Tuesday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Wednesday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Closed Mondays & University holidays

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This event was first published on November 23, 2021 and last updated on January 19, 2022.

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