Sunday, July 2, 2017

James Thurber: The Last Flower and the Death of Peace

Charles Addams wasn't the only New Yorker cartoonist to travel in rarefied social circles. In 1939, James Thurber presented a copy of his new book The Last Flower to actor James Cagney and his wife Bill. The book is inscribed to them and includes a sobering drawing of a Thurber dog mourning the death of peace. The tombstone bears the dates 1918-1939. Much of Thurber's preliminary pencil work remains visible. Hitler and Stalin had invaded Poland in September of 1939 and the inscription is dated December 2 of that year.

Inscribed "For Bill and Jimmy Cagney/with all best wishes/from Jim/December 2, 1939"
with a signed drawing of a dog at the gravesite of peace with a setting sun
in The Last Flower, 1939

James Thurber, The Last Flower, 1939

James Thurber
Swann Galleries, June 13, 2017, Sale 2451, Lot 160 Hammer Price

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There's room for many more books like this one on the blog. Readers with books by James Thurber (or other New Yorker cartoonists) dedicated to celebrities (or ordinary folks) with drawings (or without) can send scans or photos to me (or someone else).

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