At the Races with Saul Steinberg to open Jan. 18 at the National Museum of Racing
SARATOGA SPINGS, N.Y. — The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame will open a new exhibition, At the Races with Saul Steinberg, in the Link Gallery on Jan. 18. Made possible by the generous donation of the artwork to the Museum’s permanent collection by the Saul Steinberg Foundation, the drawings featured in this exhibition span the period of 1955 to 1959. Three were published in his book The Labyrinth in 1960. One was later published in the 1963 Sports Illustrated article “Steinberg at the Races” that featured scenes at racetracks from Paris to Los Angeles.
Steinberg (1914 ̶ 1999) was born and raised in Romania. In 1933, after a year at the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at the University of Bucharest, he applied to the Faculty of Architecture but was denied entry because he was Jewish. Steinberg then moved to Italy, enrolled at the architecture school of the University of Milan, and began creating cartoons for the Italian humor magazines Bertoldo and Settebello.
By 1940, Steinberg was seeking to leave Italy and started drawing for American publications. Once in the United States in 1942, The New Yorker offered him a contract. Soon after he was recommended for employment as a consultant at the Office of War Information, then received a commission in the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1943 and was granted citizenship. After the war, he returned to New York to resume his work.
Steinberg resisted convention throughout his career as an artist. He produced drawings, paintings, prints, collages, sculptures, and murals. Best known for the visual wit of his pen-and-ink drawings featured in The New Yorker for close to 60 years, Steinberg also contributed to other magazines, including TIME, LIFE, Vogue, Harper’s Magazine, and Sports Illustrated.
In 1952, Steinberg visited Saratoga Springs, New York, on commission from Harper’s to provide drawings for an article about the city. Though he previously produced a series of drawings of horses and their riders in the 1940s, this visit may have prompted his interest in thoroughbred racing.
“We are excited to exhibit the artwork of Saul Steinberg in a different light and bring together those with an appreciation of art as well as thoroughbred racing,” said Jessica Cloer, the Museum’s curator.
For more information about the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, including upcoming events, please visit www.racingmuseum.org or call (518) 584-0400.