The Original Mad Man

Illustrations by Mac Conner

Visitors in front of a wall with “THE WORLD OF NEW YORK ILLUSTRATION” on it. Below text is a drawing of people at a racetrack

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McCauley “Mac” Conner is one of New York’s original “Mad Men.”

From the 1940s through the 1960s, Conner's captivating advertising and editorial illustrations graced the pages of major magazines, including CosmopolitanRedbook, and The Saturday Evening Post, and helped shape the image of postwar America. One of an influential group of commercial artists at the heart of Manhattan's thriving advertising and publishing scene, Conner's hand-painted illustrations capture the style and spirit of a pivotal era in American history. The exhibition presents Conner's published work alongside reference photos and preliminary designs, a selection of fictional stories accompanied by illustrations from Conner and his contemporaries, advertising tearsheets for major clients such as Ford, United Airlines, and AT&T, correspondence letters with editors and art directors, and more. With seven distinct sections, from the “World of NY Publishing” to “Advertising” and “Anxieties,” the exhibition offers a unique window on the dynamic world of the illustrators who created the look of a generation while grappling with fundamental social issues of the time.

The Original Mad Man: Illustrations by Mac Connor will run from September 10 through February 1, 2015.

Content: Over 130 drawings, paintings, and photographs, plus ephemera, as well as media, including specially commissioned interview featuring Mac Conner, in which the 103-year-old illustrator reflects on his remarkable career.

Approximate linear feet: 220

Tour Venues: The Original Mad Man: Illustrations by Mac Conner is available for tour. If you are interested in hosting the exhibition at your museum, or to reserve a slot on a tour, please contact us at travelingexhibitions@mcny.org or 917.492.3472.

Below you will find the Exhibition Brochure, as well as press coverage from multiple publications. Exhibition Requirements and Object List are available upon request.

Exhibition Brochure
New York Times Press Coverage
Wall Street Journal Press Coverage


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