Thursday, November 12, 2020

Peter Arno: Hard Times for One and All

A Depression-era cartoon original by Peter Arno from the pages of the New York Herald Tribune is listed on the website of Adam Baumgold Fine Art. The caption shows Arno's penchant for dialect and cutesy spelling when he isn't actively guided by The New Yorker's editors. But artistically Arno doesn't need any help at all. Look at the care he has taken to contrast the social status of these two men in wardrobe and grooming, lights and darks. How different, for example, are the two men's shoes, their ties, their postures! Arno uses two tones for shading the background, with the darker tone surrounding the men's faces to bring them out. Lines from both men's left arms and both left legs direct our eyes to the face  of the "Boss," as do the lines from the base of the window. The vanishing point, though, is way off to the right outside of the panel, leading us to sweep across the image from left to right.

"Honest, Boss, I couldn't lend y'a cent. I wuz almost cleaned out myself!"
Peter Arno

November 14, 2020 Update:  A reader reports the price as $1,100.

Note: On what date was this cartoon published? Does anyone have an image of the published drawing? Are there other works by Peter Arno from the pages of the Herald Tribune besides the two listed on Adam Baumgold Fine Art's website? Help me, if you can, to create more Arno files for Arnophiles.


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