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A CITY ON PAPER: Saul Steinberg’s New York

At the Museum of the City of New York

By Glenn Loney



The Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Ave. at 104th St

Closing March 25, 2007

Domestic animals, 1983. The Saul Steinberg Foundation.

This wonderful, if small-scale, show makes an amusing pendant for the Morgan Library’s more comprehensive survey of Saul Steinberg’s often Bizarre drawings of New Yorkers, New York, & the World Beyond.

The City Museum’s Steinbergs, however, are focused on Manhattan & Environs. The City’s often astonishing architectures are occasionally rendered with a Satiric Surrealism that pushes Beaux Arts & Art Deco conceits to their Outer Limits. Vide: Steinberg’s Chrysler Building!

Nor are Steinberg’s New Yorkers spared: Fur Coats looks like a four-woman Berlin Wall of Shaggy-Pelts. Even more fun is House Animals, with Steinberg’s people sporting animal-heads!

If you miss this show, there is a handsome four-fold brochure--richly illustrated--that is a real “Keeper.''

[Add Notes: On 23 March, the Museum of the City will open Facing Fascism: New York & the Spanish Civil War. This can prove more than a footnote to the Met Museum’s tribute to the Catalans who held out so long against Franco’s Falangists--and paid such a heavy price. The International Brigade attracted some New Yorkers to fight against the Fascists…

[The Museum is offering--among other printed Freebies--an excellent illustrated Greenwich Village Walk of Fame tourist-guide. Here’s Chas. A. Lindbergh at the Brevoort; there’s Edward Hopper on Washington Square!]