Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Peter Arno: Where There's a Will..., Part 2

The reading of the will was featured in an exceptional Peter Arno New Yorker cartoon from 1939. The original artwork was sold in 2013 by a small auction house. Appearances suggest the listing did not trouble to reproduce the long caption aside from the difficult-to-read handwriting in the photographs. The artwork sold for about one-third its estimate.
"First then:  the bulk of my estate, excepting certain specific
bequests as hereinafter noted, I leave to my true friend and
companion, one of God's noblest creatures..."
Peter Arno, Original art, The New Yorker, December 2, 1939, page 23

Note how the dark colors of mourning are contrasted with the white of the dog. The clever use of two-point perspective allows two sets of lines to lead our eyes to the dog, one from the attorney's chair and feet aligned with the aisle and the other joining the mourner's feet in the front row. If that's not enough, the mourners' eyes are all directed at the same spot.

The art is nicely framed, but a more legible caption would be welcome:

"First then:  the bulk of my estate, excepting certain specific bequests as hereinafter
noted, I leave to my true friend and companion, one of God's noblest creatures..."

Peter Arno, Framed original art, The New Yorker, December 2, 1939, page 23

Detail

Detail


Locati Auctions, October 21, 2013, Lot 1013162




"First then:  the bulk of my estate, excepting certain specific bequests as hereinafter
noted, I leave to my true friend and companion, one of God's noblest creatures..."

Peter Arno, The New Yorker, December 2, 1939, page 23


Note:  On Sunday, this blog's brief excursion into the reading of the will began with cartoon variations by the late Frank Modell, 1917-2016. In his obituary, the Times writes, "Mr. Modell took pleasure in mocking mortality in his work."

This blog offers a lot more about Peter Arno and about original New Yorker cartoon art. Ask for it by name.

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2 comments:

  1. I was the buyer of this piece (bargain!) and you'll be happy to know I reframed it with a orinted caption.

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