Sunday, March 3, 2019

Arnold Rosenberg's Copy of Ronald Searle's The Curse of St. Trinian's

Photographer Arnold T. Rosenberg (1931-2017) produced much fine work, most famously his 1958 portrait of Marcel Duchamp playing chess on a glass table. A print in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian was donated by Rosenberg and his wife Rochelle:
Arnold T. Rosenberg
Marcel Duchamp

Many years after destroying his most popular creation, cartoonist Ronald Searle (1920-2011) revisited his wicked St. Trinian's school with a new collection called The Curse of St. Trinian's (1993). Rosenberg's copy was dedicated to him by Searle in May of 1993 with a full-page sketch of a leggy St. Trinian's schoolgirl. Searle writes almost apologetically, "This is the best I can do. I haven't drawn St. Trinian's in 30 years or more." It's a nice conceit belied by the book's brand new St. Trinian's artwork on the cover, and indeed Searle had other occasions to redraw his abandoned schoolgirls from time to time. Rosenberg and his wife lived in East Hampton on Long Island. His copy of the book was sold on eBay by a Sag Harbor dealer in December of 2013 about two years after Searle's death.

"For Arnold
with best wishes.
In [?] of 1959
Ronald Searle
May 1993

"10 May 1993

Dear Arnold Rosenberg—
     Sorry this has been so long in coming
but I was waiting for the book to appear—
which it did, the other day.
     This is the best I can do. I haven't
drawn St. Trinian's in 30 years or more.
     Hope you have dried out now.
All good wishes
            Ronald Searle

Ronald Searle
eBay Listing Ended December 9, 2013

Ronald Searle
eBay Item Description

Note:  Ronald Searle was born ninety-nine years ago today on March 3, 1920. Mathematically-inclined readers will recognize that there is only one year remaining until his centennial. To celebrate, Attempted Bloggery asks fans to send brilliant images of Searle sketches, correspondence, and original art. The clock is ticking…

Quick Links to the Attempted Bloggery Archives:

Ronald Searle

Books with Original Sketches

Attempted Bloggery's Wicked Index


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