Scope and arrangement
The James Geraghty Papers document Geraghty's career as the art editor of The New Yorker and his friendships with the magazine's cartoonists. Included are artist and New Yorker colleague files containing correspondence, clippings, and ephemera; original art (largely in the form of Christmas cards); miscellaneous correspondence pertaining to The New Yorker Album of Drawings, 1925-1975, miscellaneous printed matter; photographs; and oversize items (including a scrapbook). Approximately 60% of the collection consists of artist and New Yorker colleague files. Another 20% consists of original art. The remainder of the collection is made up of miscellaneous correspondence, printed matter, photographs, and oversize items. The collection includes posthumous letters of condolence and other miscellaneous correspondence sent to Eva Geraghty by New Yorker cartoonists and their spouses, as well as clippings she continued to add to artist and colleague files after her husband's death. Many items bear Mrs. Geraghty's annotations identifying correspondents.
The James M. Geraghty papers are arranged in six series:
The folders contain a large number of Christmas cards, as well as other correspondence, invitations to exhibitions and other ephemera, and clippings (gathered in the back of each folder). The bulk of the material dates from 1960-1990 (and includes correspondence Mrs. Geraghty received from New Yorker artists and their spouses after her husband's death and clippings she continued to amass). The correspondence is largely informal, consisting of friendly notes from home and abroad. The original art found in these folders has been separated out and filed in Series II, though photocopies remain in the original folders. Correspondence from artists and colleagues pertaining to The New Yorker Album of Drawings, 1925-1975, Geraghty's retirement, and Geraghty's death are filed in Series III.
The Alan Dunn and Mary Petty file contains extensive correspondence between Syracuse University personnel and James and Eva Geraghty regarding Dunn and Petty materials donated to the University museum. The Mort Gerberg file contains a book proposal for a work on magazine cartooning. The Brendan Gill file includes speeches given by Gill, as well as manuscripts for a short play ("Meeting Mr. Ives"), an essay ("Christmas at the Owl House"), and a short story ("The Malcontents"). The Saul Steinberg file contains correspondence between the Whitney museum and Geraghty relating to a 1978 exhibition of Steinberg's work. The William Shawn file includes clippings pertaining to Tom Wolfe's controversial 1965 New York Herald Tribune article about the inner workings of The New Yorker.
The original art consists largely of Christmas cards created by New Yorker artists. These items have been removed from New Yorker artist files in Series I (although photocopies remain in the original folders). The art is arranged alphabetically by artist. Two pieces by Robert Day and one piece by Susanne Suba have been removed and filed in Box 13 (Series VI) with oversize items.
The miscellaneous correspondence consists of letters from New Yorker artists and colleagues pertaining to the publication of The New Yorker Album of Drawings, 1925-1975 (edited by Geraghty), Geraghty's retirement, and Geraghty's death. Each folder is arranged alphabetically by correspondent. The file containing letters to Mrs. Geraghty on Geraghty's death also includes the text from Geraghty's April 23, 1983 memorial service and eulogies given by Whitney Darrow, Charles Saxon, and Ronald Mansbridge.
The printed matter consists of 1942-43 editions of "The Conflict" (The New Yorker staff newsletter during World War II), reviews for The New Yorker Album of Drawings, 1925-1975, 1972 and 1974-77 magazine covers from The New Yorker, Harvard Lampoon and Punch spoofs of The New Yorker, and an annotated partial unpublished manuscript by Geraghty for a book about his years at the magazine. The manuscript describes New Yorker editorial meetings, the nature of Geraghty's editing, his relationships with New Yorker editors Harold Ross and William Shawn, and the work of the magazine's more prominent cartoonists. The artists discussed in the manuscript include: Charles Addams, Peter Arno, Perry Barlow, Chon Day, Robert Day, Peter DeVries, Al Frueh, Helen Hokinson, Rea Irvin, Robert Kraus, George Price, Mischa Richter, and William Steig. The folder containing the manuscript also includes correspondence with Simon & Schuster regarding this manuscript, as well as a draft of an introduction for a book about Peter Arno. (A letter from Dodd, Mead annotated by Mrs. Geraghty indicates that the introduction for Arno's book was eventually written by Charles Saxon, another New Yorker cartoonist.).
The photographs include two 1967 photos of Geraghty's Weston, CT home, eighteen photos of Geraghty and New Yorker artists in and around The New Yorker building in 1972, twenty-five photos of a 1973 football game party at the Geraghty's home in Weston, CT, and twenty-nine photos of a 1973 surprise party for Geraghty at Barney and Bede Tobey's New York apartment (Tobey was a New Yorker cartoonist). Among the artists in the photos are: Charles Addams, Whitney Darrow, Robert Day, Ed Fisher, Dana Fradon, Arthur Getz, Stan Hunt, Robert Kraus, Frank Modell, Charles Martin, William O'Brian, George Price, Mischa Richter, Charles Saxon, Saul Steinberg, and Barney Tobey. Also pictured are former New Yorker editor William Shawn, New Yorker "idea man" Richard McCallister, art editor Lee Lorenz, Geraghty's longtime assistant Barbara Nicholls, and Eva Geraghty. All photos are labeled on the back by Mrs. Geraghty.
A framed photograph of Irving Penn's 1947 group portrait of The New Yorker artists is in Box 13 (Series VI) with oversize items.
This series consists of a scrapbook documenting Geraghty's life and career, two pieces of original art by Robert Day, one piece by Susanne Suba, and a framed photograph of Irving Penn's 1947 group portrait of The New Yorker artists. It is not clear whether Geraghty or Mrs. Geraghty assembled the scrapbook, which has been annotated by Mrs. Geraghty and includes items produced after her husband's death. The book includes copies of Geraghty's birth certificate, high school diploma, honorable discharge from the army, marriage certificate, Who's Who entry, letters of admittance to the Century Association and the Grolier Club, correspondence from Harold Ross during Geraghty's stint in the army, and clippings pertaining to his career at The New Yorker, as well as clippings pertaining to the lives and careers of New Yorker artists. Also included are invitations to The New Yorker twenty-fifth anniversary party, various Christmas cards, and posthumous material (including text from Geraghty's memorial service and obituaries).