Thursday, October 31, 2013

Arthur Rackham: Long Stories of Ghosts, Witches and Indians

Illustrator Arthur Rackham's 1916 book illustration tells the story of telling a story. Note that the light source is pretty close to the viewer's vantage point, as if we ourself are holding the candle or sitting directly in the fireplace.

Arthur Rackham, Long Stories of Ghosts, Witches and Indians, Washington Irving, Rip Van Winkle,
London: William Heinemann, 1916, page 5

Note:  Arthur Rackham appears on the blog here.

My Halloween posts are here.

The baseball season is over, but the blog posts remain here.


Arthur Rackham: The Witches' Sabbath

In 1928, Arthur Rackham illustrated Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. His illustration of "The Witches' Sabbath" was published in black and white. The listing from Chris Beetles Gallery explains, "After publication this illustration was reworked and coloured by the artist."

Arthur Rackham, "The Witches' Sabbath," for Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, 1928

February 7, 2015 Update:  The Gallery has raised the price of this piece.

October 30, 2016 Update:  The price is back down to 45,000 GBP.

Note:  Arthur Rackham appears in other blog posts here.

This is the final day to check out my Halloween posts here. Tomorrow it will be Thanksgiving I'm promoting.

Wait till next year! Attempted Bloggery's archive of baseball posts is here.


Arthur Rackham: The Ingoldsby Legends

The Ingoldsby Legends is obscure now but was popular in the 19th century. Thomas Ingoldsby was the pen name of the Reverend Rchard Harris Barham. Arthur Rackham's 1898 illustration for the spine of the book features a crescent moon, a witch flying on her broomstick, and some bats which must appear on the lower back cover. The original artwork is offered by Chris Beetles of London.

Note:  Previous posts here on Attempted Bloggery about Arthur Rackham contain some of the most gorgeous illustration artwork I have found. Don't just take my word for it. See for yourself here.

I also have more ghoulish Halloween posts here.

The Boston Red Sox have won the World Series. All my classic baseball posts are here.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #401

Here is my latest entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #401 for October 28, 2013. The cartoon is by Harry Bliss. The caption is by me.

"Speaking of abandonment, Doctor, would you mind turning this way?"

I had just one other caption idea. Frankly, I didn't think it was funny enough.
"Well, isn't it better to be angry than manic and delusional?"

November 4, 2013 Update:  The Finalists

November 18, 2013 Update:  Winning Caption

Note:  I'm afraid last week's New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest entry was all up in the air. See it here.

Previous Attempted Bloggery posts with Harry Bliss art may be seen here.

Then again, you might prefer to see Harry Bliss in the Cartoon Bank here.

News about Harry Bliss is covered on Ink Spill here.

More football posts may be seen here.

With the World Series still going on, let's not forget the ol' baseball posts here. Why ever does Roger Angell call it The Summer Game?

Do you recall my very first New Yorker Caption Contest entry? Well, it was another psychiatrist gag, one by Victoria Roberts. I sure hope my captioning has improved a little since then.

Let's not forget that this is the Halloween season. Suitably spooky blog posts may be found here.

Photographs of last year's Hurricane Sandy storm surge on the East River are here.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Maurice Sendak: It's Alive!

Maurice Sendak's work for the stage is outstanding, although it isn't nearly as well known as his book illustrations. From The New Yorker's 1994 Halloween issue comes this original set design by Sendak for "It's Alive!"
Maurice Sendak, original set design for "It's Alive!"
The New Yorker
, October 31, 1994, page 8

The New Yorker, October 31, 1994, page 8

Note:  Earlier blog posts about Maurice Sendak are here.

The Maurice Sendak Collection is in the Rosenbach Museum and Library.

Additional eerie Halloween posts may be found here.

Furthermore, in honor of the World Series, there are even a few baseball posts here.

Today marks one year since my blog post on Hurricane Sandy's storm surge. Read it here.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Charles Addams on Broadway, Gravely

Roald Dahl's farce comedy "The Honeys" opened on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre in April of 1955. It starred Jessica Tandy, Hume Cronyn, and Dorothy Stickney. An illustration for this production by Charles Addams depicts a gravestone with a portrait of two closely-related men, perhaps twins or, since this is a farce, possibly the same person in disguise. The original artwork was sold last year by Heritage Auctions, which reported that it appeared in Playbill, but there is some reason to question this. It wasn't used as a cover illustration nor does it appear in any of the inside pages shown on the Playbill website, so doubts are justified.

The drawing of the gravestone may have been strictly promotional. An Addams illustration would be the perfect way to advertise a play, particularly a comedy, to The New Yorker's sophisticated audience which already delighted in morbid Addams cartoons. In fact, this drawing was published as an advertisement in The New Yorker issue of April 2, 1955 and perhaps elsewhere.

Charles Addams, original promotional artwork for "The Honeys," The New Yorker, April 2, 1955, page 50

Charles Addams, framed original promotional artwork for "The Honeys," The New Yorker, April 2, 1955, page 50

Charles Addams signature

Charles Addams, Advertisement for "The Honeys," The New Yorker, April 2, 1955, page 50

The Addams artwork appears somewhat elongated in the ad to accommodate additional type in the blank space below the double portrait. By the way, opening night orchestra seats were sold out, but mezzanine seats were still available for $4.60, $3.45, and $2.90!

Charles Addams, Advertisement for "The Honeys," The New Yorker, April 2, 1955, page 50

Incidentally, on this very magazine page there is an ad for the 1954 Broadway musical "The Pajama Game" in which you can just make out artwork by another legendary  New Yorker cartoonist, Peter Arno. Here's a better look at it:

Peter Arno, Playbill for "The Pajama Game" (1954)
Image added November 6, 2013

Peter Arno, U.K. sheet music for "Small Talk" from "The Pajama Game" (1954)

Note:  Naturally, I'd be grateful to anyone who can document any other uses to which this artwork for "The Honeys" was put.

You can find additional blog posts about the splendid Charles Addams here.

Spooky posts about Halloween may be found here.

The Tee & Charles Addams Foundation has its website here.

By the way, the exhibition "Chas Addams: Family and Friends" is on view at Southampton Center through November 3. Read all about it here.

Charles Addams still makes the news, and it is covered on Ink Spill here.

His artwork has been featured on The Pictorial Arts blog here.

It seems I've been neglecting Peter Arno lately, but I'll make it up to you at some point. In the meantime, my older posts can still be enjoyed here.

Additional blog posts about Broadway may be found here.

My blog post about last year's Hurricane Sandy is here.

Let's not forget the World Series! Attempted Bloggery's archive of baseball blog posts is here.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Charles Addams for Hallmark

Greetings from...Lurch? A Hallmark card featuring the Addams Family's butler was designed by Charles Addams probably around the time of the TV show. A rare example of this card is currently offered on eBay. It retailed for 25 cents in the 1960's, but today it can be yours for $39.95, or most likely less if you make the right offer.

Charles Addams, Lurch behind the door
Hallmark Contemporary card front cover

Charles Addams, Lurch behind the door
Hallmark Contemporary card interior

November 17, 2013 Update:  Sold!

October 8, 2016 Update:  Morticia!

Charles Addams, Morticia at her writing desk, Hallmark Contemporary card front cover

Birthday greetings from Morticia

eBay Listing Ended August 8, 2016

eBay Item Description

October 31, 2021 Update:  Watermarked photos from an eBay listing include the Hallmark cards of Gomez and Grandmama, as well as the Lurch card we've already seen.

Charles Addams
eBay listing ended October 5, 2021

Charles Addams
eBay item description

November 10, 2021 Update:  Sold!
Charles Addams
eBay bid history
One bid five days before the auction closed

That's gone now, but here's a new eBay listing with better images of the Gomez card:

Charles Addams
eBay listing accessed November 10, 2021

Charles Addams
eBay item description

Note:  If you should know of other vintage Hallmark Contemporary cards with an Addams Family theme, or have better photos of these, please consider sharing them here.

More Attempted Bloggery posts about Charles Addams are here.

Seasonal Halloween-themed posts may be found here.

The website for the Tee & Charles Addams Foundation is here.

The exhibition "Chas Addams: Family and Friends" is on view at Southampton Center through November 3. Read about it here.

Exhibition and other news about Charles Addams is covered on Ink Spill here.

Charles Addams has been featured on The Pictorial Arts blog here.

Are you following the World Series? Baseball blog posts are here.