Saturday, September 22, 2018

Saul Steinberg: The Chrysler Building

The title of Saul Steinberg's 1965 composition "The Chrysler Building" doesn't begin to hint at the imaginative transformation that art deco landmark has undergone. Even more remarkable is the appearance of the Statue of Liberty, here draped in the French tricolor and wearing an American Indian headdress. A rainbow and the pyramid from the back of the dollar bill balance out this image. It has appeared in publications of the Galerie Maeght, Paris. It will be sold by sothebys.com on September 28 with an estimate of $20,000-$30,000. Bidding starts at $14,000, but the reserve is apparently higher.

Saul Steinberg
The Chrysler Building, 1965

Saul Steinberg
The Chrysler Building, 1965




Saul Steinberg
Sothebys.com Listing Retrieved September 20, 2018


Saul Steinberg
Sothebys.com Description Retrieved September 20, 2018





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Saul Steinberg

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02685

Friday, September 21, 2018

Rubber Stamp and Pencil on Paper

The medium is rubber stamp and pencil on paper. That alone might be enough to clue you in that the artist is Saul Steinberg. Executed in 1968, there is no evidence in the current Sotheby's Paris listing that this intriguing image was ever published. Given the practical limitations of the medium (and I suspect there must be some pen and ink in it as well), the composition has a complex geometry and flow. It will go up on the auction block on September 27 with a presale estimate of 4,000-6,000 Euros.

Saul Steinberg
Untitled, 1968

Saul Steinberg
Sotheby's Paris Listing for September 27, 2018





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02684

Thursday, September 20, 2018

A Negative of a William Hamilton Cartoon

Recently I received an inquiry by email about an unusual negative image of a Playboy cartoon by William Hamilton. What is it exactly and what might it be worth? I'm not certain, but I think it's an acetate negative used during the printing process. That means it might have been created when the cartoon was first published in the Playboy issue of July 1971, or perhaps when the cartoon was reproduced somewhere else. The italicized typeface certainly looks like the usual Playboy type for cartoon captions.

Possibly it's unique. I have no idea what it might be worth. Hamilton's original drawing sold for $717 including buyer's premium at Heritage Auctions in 2010. Are such negatives of interest and collectible?



"For God's sake, Gilda—I've got a railroad to run!"
William Hamilton
Acetate negative
Playboy, July 1971, page 192

A clue?

The original art, sold in 2010:
"For God's sake, Gilda—I've got a railroad to run!"
William Hamilton

Detail of original art
Playboy, July 1971, page 192


"For God's sake, Gilda—I've got a railroad to run!"
William Hamilton

Original art
Playboy, July 1971, page 192

https://comics.ha.com/itm/original-comic-art/william-hamilton-american-b-1939-playboy-cartoon-illustration-page-192-july-1971ink-on-paper7-x-8-insigned/a/7017-93031.s




William Hamilton
Heritage Auctions Listing, February 2010



William Hamilton
Heritage Auctions Item Description



Note:  Readers with additional information about the use of such negatives in the printing process are encouraged to come forward and share your knowledge here. Are negative cartoon images of value to collectors? The owner, who is planning to sell this, would like to know.

Original art by William Hamilton (1939-2016) is just the sort of thing I like to share here on the blog. Readers are encouraged to send me scans or photographs. A scan of the Playboy page on which this cartoon appears would also be welcome.



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William Hamilton

Original Playboy Cartoon Art


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02683

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Mortal Remains

Mortal Remains by Ricardo Bloch and Don Celender is a 1996 survey of four hundred creative people that asks them about their long-term plans for burial . . . and beyond. My initial reaction was to avoid this morbid but extremely personal topic.

But then I wondered.... What sort of monument would architect Frank Gehry wish for himself? What would poet Allen Ginsberg, author of the moving "Kaddish," want written on his tombstone? What about fiction writer T. C. Boyle? And finally, regarding the subject whose inclusion alerted me to this book in the first place, what are the eternal resting plans of cartoonist Roz Chast, and are they presented in the form of her matchless graveyard cartoons?


Mortal Remains
Signed by Ricardo Bloch and Don Celender

Ricardo Bloch and Don Celender
eBay Listing Retrieved September 16, 2018

Ricardo Bloch and Don CelendereBay Item Description

An example of a tombstone cartoon from last year by Roz Chast:
Roz Chast
The New Yorker, January 9, 2017, page 55





Note:  Well, who has a copy of this book?


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02682

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

James Thurber's Premonitions

An original 1938 New Yorker cartoon by James Thurber was listed on eBay in February of this year at $20,000. The seller warned that "This will be up for seven days only—if it doesn't sell, to Sotheby's it goes."

Well, it didn't go to Sotheby's, at least not yet. In fact, it didn't go anywhere so far. But its asking price was reduced to $15,000—still up in the stratosphere, mind you—and some welcome additional photos of the artwork were added to the listing. The provenance is reported to be writer Peter De Vries and Peter L. Stern and Co., Inc., of Boston.

Thurber's drawing takes advantage of our tendency to read images, like captions, from left to right. The use of the dark background lends it an unusual boldness. The woman's gait is rendered unconvincingly and the hands, the ones Thurber hasn't avoided drawing all together, are extremely formless and loose. The facial expressions, on the other hand, are peerless.


"You and your premonitions!"
James Thurber
Original art
The New Yorker, May 21, 1938, page 24
Men, Women and Dogs, 1943
The Thurber Carnival, 1945, page 354




After the original listing, the eBay seller added three additional photos of the original artwork which is framed behind reflective glass:
"You and your premonitions!"
James Thurber
Original art
The New Yorker, May 21, 1938, page 24
Men, Women and Dogs, 1943
The Thurber Carnival, 1945, page 354

"You and your premonitions!"
James Thurber
Original art
The New Yorker, May 21, 1938, page 24
Men, Women and Dogs, 1943
The Thurber Carnival, 1945, page 354

"You and your premonitions!"
James Thurber
Original art
The New Yorker, May 21, 1938, page 24
Men, Women and Dogs, 1943
The Thurber Carnival, 1945, page 354



James Thurber
eBay Listing Ended February 19, 2018


James Thurber
eBay Item Description








"You and your premonitions!"
James Thurber
The New Yorker, May 21, 1938, page 24


"You and your premonitions!"
James Thurber
Original art
The New Yorker, May 21, 1938, page 24
Men, Women and Dogs, 1943

The Thurber Carnival, 1945, page 354

https://archives.newyorker.com/?i=1938-05-21#folio=024



Why on earth should this caption be capitalized?
"You and Your Premonitions!"
James Thurber

The Thurber Carnival, 1945, page 354



Note:  This piece and its eBay offering have been discussed on Ink Spill.

Readers with other original Thurber art to show off are encouraged to show it off here.


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James Thurber

Original New Yorker Cartoon Art

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02681

Monday, September 17, 2018

My Entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #631

I tossed off an entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #631 for September 17, 2018. The drawing is by Ellis Rosen.

"The floppy disk is back!"


These captions kneaded work:
"They made me check my toppings."
"Can you get my rolling pin down from the overhead."
"Trade ya."
"Sure I could go by train. Either way, it's a toss-up."
"While your laptop is open, could you see if there's anything on WebMD about compulsive pizza-tossing?"




Note:  Last week cartoonist Mick Stevens hit the high water mark of his career. So why did my caption float away downstream? Towel yourself off and absorb Contest #630.

Doh! There's just one earlier caption contest by Ellis Rosen in the blog archives.

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Sunday, September 16, 2018

Did an Alcon Commercial Borrow from a New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest?

Last year, cartoonist Christopher Weyant created this cartoon for The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest:
Christopher Weyant
The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #589 for October 23, 2017




This year, the following TV commercial appeared for Dailies Total1 contact lenses by Alcon. The video was uploaded to YouTube on May 15, a likely approximation of when it first aired. Could the Caption Contest cartoon and the commercial be somehow related, or is this just one of those inevitable coincidences? You decide!


"Lose Your Readers"
Alcon Dailies Total1 Ad
Uploaded May 15, 2018
Embed playback disabled. Watch it here.



https://www.ispot.tv/ad/dkm_/novartis-dailies-total1-menus?fb_comment_id=1781176138609281_1835618133165081#f1b1c5d397823d

https://www.ispot.tv/ad/dkm_/novartis-dailies-total1-menus?fb_comment_id=1781176138609281_1835618133165081#f1b1c5d397823d



Of course, no one has a monopoly on sight gags featuring oversized menus, but the creative people who make TV commercials certainly could be readers of the New Yorker.

The one thing we do know for certain is who won the contest. And the winning caption is... 

Note:  We've been down a similar road before. Two years ago I inquired whether a GEICO commercial might have borrowed from a New Yorker cartoon by Rich Sparks? Again, you decide.

Have you observed other ways in which New Yorker cartoons possibly have influenced pop culture? Do tell!


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Television


Size Gags

Too Close for Comfort?


Cartoon Caption Contests


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Attempted Bloggery's Large-Type Index


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Saturday, September 15, 2018

Brendan Gill's Copy of Is Sex Necessary?

New Yorker writer Brendan Gill's copy of James Thurber and E. B. White's Is Sex Necessary? is a 1944 reprint of the 1929 humorous book. Thurber and White each wrote alternating chapters of the book. Gill has written his name and address, as well as the 1946 date [of acquisition?]. White inscribed, "To my chum/E B White/ex-humorist" a little poignantly.

This very interesting copy of the book sold at auction for $150 in 2017, just half its low estimate. It returned to the market this year with a minimum bid of $300, half its new low estimate, and it did not sell.


Inscribed "To my chum/E B White/ex-humorist"

Brendan Gill's copy

Title page with a Thurber illustration


E. B. White
eBay Listing Ended Many 23, 2018


E. B. White
eBay Item Description


https://www.invaluable.com/catalog/searchLots.cfm?scp=p&catalogRef=&shw=50&ord=0&img=0&olF=1&houseRef=&houseLetter=A&artistRef=&aID=0&areaID=&countryID=&regionID=&stateID=&fdt=&tdt=&fr=0&to=0&wa=Brendan%20Gill&wp=&wo=&nw=&upcoming=0&rp=&hi=1&rem=FALSE&ns=0&isSC=0&row=1&isBIN=0&isAdvanced=1



Note:  From time to time Attempted Bloggery publishes images of books signed, inscribed, or drawn upon by New Yorker luminaries. Please send me pictures of such books you'd like to show off on the blog.

Brendan Gill has not been mentioned on the blog before, but surely he'll be here again.


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E. B. White


James Thurber

Signed Books

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02678