Monday, March 28, 2016

Peter Arno for Barney Gallant

Peter Arno's caricature of Barney Gallant can be seen in a print advertisement for Barney's, presumably a lower Manhattan speakeasy. The ad reportedly dates from 1930 which would place it in the Prohibition Era. Barney Gallant's claim to fame was that he was the first New Yorker to be arrested under the Volstead Act. The advertising copy stating "that dinner service has now been resumed" may well be a reference to some much later legal matters. The caricature shows Gallant's dark complexion, bushy eyebrows, receding hairline and a five-o'clock shadow. Arno can hardly be accused of flattery, but based on a contemporary photograph by Nickolas Muray it may be a fair likeness. The smile seems genuine.
Peter Arno, Barney's

Nickolas Muray, Jon Murray Anderson and Barney Gallant

An eBay listing has a variant of this ad announcing entertainment by Walter O'Keefe and Bobby Dolan. This listing gives the date as 1955, which is extremely unlikely because New York City phone numbers were expanded to two letters plus five digits in December of 1930.
Peter Arno, Barney's

Barney Gallant was associated with a number of establishments during the Prohibition years. Information about this image from the National Gallery of Art and from the Museum of the City of New York do not agree.
Golonkin, Joseph Webster, Speako Deluxe, lithograph c. 1928 [according to the National Gallery of art]

Yet another location:

"Walter O'Keefe has returned. New Songs served with the sauce of new nonsense." Now what do you suppose that means?
"Gee!  I'm Marvelous in the Bath-Room" (1928)
Walter O'Keefe

Note:  These links should also keep you entertained:

Attempted Bloggery's posts about Peter Arno.

Ink Spill's posts about Peter Arno.

Attempted Bloggery's notes on advertising.


No comments:

Post a Comment