harlequin.jpgRomance publisher Harlequin is celebrating its 60th anniversary with an exhibition of book covers over the years, and we couldn’t help but want to celebrate with them.

Today, we stopped by the opening of “Heart of a Woman: Harlequin Cover Art 1949-2009″ at Openhouse Gallery on Mulberry Street in Little Italy, a stunning display of hundreds of classic Harlequin cover art over the years, complete with little history lessons about the art and artists and an interactive wall that puts your face on the cover.

(Fun fact learned from the exhibit: “The trend toward featuring photographs of scantily clad, contemporary men rather than painted images of historic heros suggested that women had grown increasingly interested in the objectified male body.”)

On hand to toast Harlequin’s diamond anniversary today were New York Times best selling authors Gena Showalter and Debbie Macomber, as well as Harlequin CEO Donna Hayes.

Hayes told FishbowlNY that the point of the exhibit was “to represent through our covers how women’s lives have changes since our company has been in business.”

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