Rockwell Kent (American, 1882-1971)
The Avenue, alternatively titled Th' Avenue
Signed "Hogarth Jr." in pen u.r., titled in pen l.c., also signed and inscribed
"Rockwell Kent/1262 Richmond Terrace./Staten Island." in ink on the reverse.
Ink on paper/board, 8 x 10 1/16 in. (20.3 x 25.6 cm), framed.
Condition: Mat burn, paper patches, tape residue verso, taped and glued to window mat along top margin.
Literature: Vanity Fair, January 1916, p. 50; Chappell, George S., A Basket of Poses, New York: Albert and Charles Boni, 1924.
The drawing of a busy city avenue scene––replete with cold-weather-bundled dainties and a gendarme directing a bustle of sport cars, buses and limousines––first appeared as an illustration to George S. Chappell's 'poetic panorama,' 'Th' Avenue'. The published caption for this illustration is partially incorrect in that it refers to the drawing as 'a rare wood engraving' by William Hogarth, Jr. Although the attribution to William Hogarth, Jr.––Rockwell Kent's pseudonym––is correct, the illustration is indeed a brush (possibly pen as well) and ink drawing. (Kent's drawings were often misidentified as wood engravings or woodcuts.)
Kent collaborated with George S. Chappell on numerous publication ventures throughout the second and third decades of the twentieth century, many of which appeared in Vanity Fair and Puck. Kent and Chappell knew each other from professional architectural circles; the Ewing and Chappell architectural firm, based in New York City, began as the result of a commission from Kent's mother, Sarah––a house designed by her architecturally trained son; Kent worked off and on as a draftsman for Ewing and Chappell (during the first two decades).
This particular illustration, and the poem 'Th' Avenue,' was reprinted in A Basket of Poses––an anthology of Kent's and Chappell's satirical collaborations.
N.B. We wish to thank Scott R. Ferris for his assistance with cataloging the lot.