Sunday, February 17, 2019

Charles Addams: Under the Mistletoe

Perhaps it's worth relating something of the haphazard process by which things come to be published on this blog. Joel Jacobus, who told us all about a rarely-seen Addams Family scarf in yesterday's post, originally contacted me last year after I posted images of another scarf designed by New Yorker cartoonist Anatol Kovarsky. While Joel was searching about for the Addams scarf he came upon another item of interest to fans of Charles Addams. I'd better let him relate the story:

I've also randomly included a photo of [a] Christmas sketch by Addams from 1971 (which was next to the scarf when I finally uncovered it in the closet). I don't know who "Greta & Bob" are but he didn't tend to draw himself (and Alice B. Curr) unless it was for friends so I assume it was someone he knew. 

Joel has owned this sketch for more than ten years.

The sketch was being sold by a book dealer on the Advanced Book Exchange who had no info about it.

Here's the drawing:

Inscribed "Merry Christmas to Greta & Bob
Chas Addams
with a sketch of Addams (with mistletoe) and Alice B. Curr

From the collection of Joel Jacobus

It's tempting to speculate who Greta and Bob (Bobs?) may have been. Addams traveled in rather exclusive circles and he even had dated Greta Garbo. But if the reclusive actress is the Greta of the inscription, then who is Bob? A pet? Perhaps he knew Greta and Robert H. N. Ho, who were noted philanthropists. They even share a remote Colgate University connection with Addams, although Addams was only there for a year and there was more than a two decade age difference between Charles Addams '33 and Robert H. N. Ho '56.

Note:  My thanks to Joel Jacobus for his first-rate contribution to today's post, easily his best effort since…well, yesterday's post. 

It would be gratifying to hear from anyone who can better identify the recipients of this drawing. In the absence of facts, speculation is welcome.

For more on Addams' dog Alice B. Curr—I assume the name is a nod to Alice B. Toklas—see the aterrier site.

Attempted Bloggery is a fine place to publish rare Charles Addams art and memorabilia from all over. Help the world to gain a renewed appreciation of Addams' genius. Help Joel compile his compendium of licensed Addamsiana. That's not really a word, is it?

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