Jean-Jacques Sempé “Signature Sempé”

French Institute Alliance Française

poster for Jean-Jacques Sempé “Signature Sempé”
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Ends in 8 days

FIAF Gallery

FIAF is thrilled to present, in partnership with the Société de Lecture in Geneva, Switzerland, Signature Sempé, a selection of Jean-Jacques Sempé’s most iconic works in the FIAF Gallery.

The exhibition will feature Sempé’s original drawings from his inaugural trip to New York, offering a unique glimpse into his first impressions of a city he would grow to admire. A large selection of Sempé’s original New Yorker covers will be included in the exhibition. In conjunction with FIAF’s 2023 Animation First Festival, the exhibition will include quintessential illustrations from Le Petit Nicolas, the beloved French children’s book series Sempé created with René Goscinny.

Jean-Jacques Sempé was born in 1932 at Pessac near Bordeaux, in south-west France. After publishing his first cartoon in 1951, he slowly grew in popularity, eventually becoming one of France’s most celebrated artists. Best known in France for his illustrations of the beloved children’s character, Le Petit Nicolas, the English-speaking world came to appreciate Sempé with his iconic New Yorker magazine covers.

Join us for the exhibition’s opening on Friday, January 27, from 6–7pm in the FIAF Gallery. Afterwards, attend the opening night of Animation First featuring the NY premiere of Little Nicholas – Happy as can be at 7pm in FIAF Florence Gould Hall. See details below.

Outdoor Exhibition
Signature Sempé Around NYC

January 23–April 9, 2023
Panels around NYC

Signature Sempé will extend onto NYC streets! The beloved cartoonist’s depictions of the city and its people will be showcased on panels as part of a free outdoor exhibition with JCDecaux.


Little Nicholas - Happy as can be

NY Premiere
Friday, January 27, 2023
FIAF Florence Gould Hall
Ages 7 & up

Dir. Amandine Fredon & Benjamin Massoubre, 2022
In French with English subtitles • 82 min

Little Nicholas – Happy as can be (Le Petit Nicolas – Qu’est-ce qu’on attend pour être heureux ?) is a charming rendition of artist Jean-Jacques Sempé’s and René Goscinny’s lives which co-exist within the fictitious adventures of the duo’s French children’s book character Le Petit Nicolas.

Followed by the Opening Night Party from 8:30–9:30pm and a screening of The Best of Annecy 2022 program of shorts at 9:30pm.

Learn More
Sempé and Le Petit Nicolas

Saturday, January 28, 2023
FIAF Skyroom
In English • 60 min • Free!

Little Nicholas – Happy as can be filmmakers Amandine Fredon and Benjamin Massoubre, gallerist Martine Gossieaux, and Françoise Mouly, the artistic director of The New Yorker examine the allure and longevity of Sempé and Le Petit Nicolas.



from January 27, 2023 to April 07, 2023

Opening Reception on 2023-01-27 from 17:30 to 19:00

Website (venue's website)



Venue Hours

From 11:00 To 18:00
saturdays closing at 17:00
Closed on Mondays, Sundays, Holidays


Address: 22 E 60th St., New York, NY 10022
Phone: 212-355-6100

Between Park and Madison Ave. Subway: 4/5/6/ to 59th Street or N/R/Q to 59th Street/ 5th Avenue

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