Saturday, April 9, 2016

Peter Arno for Mary MacArthur: Whoops!

In 1942, cartoonist Peter Arno presented an original drawing of his outrageous Whoops Sisters to Mary MacArthur, the daughter of actress Helen Hayes. Now long past their heyday in the 1920's, the sisters have been set to paper on a blank book page. It is a delight to see Arno return to the Whoops Sisters at this late date and to watch them strutting about town rendered in his mature style. Miss MacArthur is only about twelve here, so it is a bit unsettling to see her suggestively silhouetted and referred to as "that MacArthur hussy." Far more unsettling, a few years later Mary MacArthur was to die of polio at the age of 19.

Book page drawing inscribed "'Whoops! It's that MacAarthur hussy again, making' an expectable of 'erself!' Peter Arno 1942"

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Peter-Arno-Original-Hand-Drawn-Cartoon-Signed-/181680693108?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a4d035f74





Book page drawing inscribed "'Whoops! It's that MacAarthur hussy again, making' an expectable of 'erself!' Peter Arno 1942"
Book page drawing inscribed "'Whoops! It's that MacAarthur hussy again, making' an expectable of 'erself!' Peter Arno 1942"



James MacArthur, Helen Hayes, and Mary MacArthur

Note:  Thanks to reader and contributor David from Manhattan for sharing his thoughts with me on this drawing.

It's such a rare thing to find an original drawing by Peter Arno set down in a book. There's the one here and a couple in Christopher Wheeler's Cartoon(ist) Gallery below and that's pretty much all I've seen. Hey, if you know of anyone with an original Arno book drawing to add, please send along a scan. By the way, did you notice that photo of the toy trains? Just what book is it that originally contained this drawing of the Whoops Sisters?

There are few more rewarding ways to spend your time on this blog than to peruse some of the original book drawings. Click on the link and explore.

This is a good start but your Arno education is not complete until you've immersed yourself in his books and in these links:

Peter Arno's new biography by Michael Maslin is available on Amazon.com and, I'm guessing, elsewhere.

Peter Arno is the subject of a conversation coming to the Butler Library at Columbia University on April 18.

Peter Arno posts on Ink Spill. All of them. Look, here's one about the Whoops Sisters.

Peter Arno in Chris Wheeler's Cartoon(ist) Gallery. And that includes this fine book drawing (now possibly removed from its book.)

Peter Arno in the April Vanity Fair.

Peter Arno in the Wall Street Journal.

Peter Arno posts right here on this blog. Again, all of them.

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