Tell Me Why

Artist:Rolf Armstrong
Date:1919
Medium:Pastel on Illustration Sand Board
Dimensions:Sight size 13" x 15 1/2" Framed 23" x 26"
Condition:Excellent
Original Use:Original Sheet Music Cover Art
Price:$11,500.00 on sale $8,625.00
Full View

Full View

Artist's signature

Artist's signature

Above: Kenneth Anger's Gallery Label with subject, creation date, and artist name on the back of the frame.

 

Published sheet music, included in sale

Published sheet music, included in sale

 July 27, 1919 New York Tribune, Included in sale

July 27, 1919 New York Tribune, Included in sale

An early example of Rolf Armstrong's portraiture; this charming pastel was used as a sheet music cover for a popular song by Coburn and Rose titled Tell Me Why in 1919. This was once owned by Kenneth Anger the author of Hollywood Babylon and noted collector of Hollywood memorabilia, folklore and assorted tales of infamy.

It is incorrectly identified by him on verso as being Alla Nazimova the Russian born flamboyant silent film star, rumored lover of Rudolph Valentino's wife Natasha Rambova. I found the July 27, 1919 New York Tribune full page color art supplement some years after originally acquiring this piece which identifies this lovely flapper as merely "Joan" -- Greenwich Village's popular interpretive dancer (Joan Reader).

The Tribune's text heralds the young Rolf Armstrong as one of the most talented of the emerging American artists and mentions that he was gaining recognition while developing the most "modern" techniques in color and character drawings.

The brief summation continues by outlining Armstrong's future plans to establish an art studio in Paris. The Tribune's art supplement is included with the pastel as well as a framed original copy of the sheet music. This piece is beautifully framed in a vintage turn-of-the-century gold gilt gesso wooden frame.

Framed and matted behind glass in beautiful period antique frame

Framed and matted behind glass in beautiful period antique frame

Corner frame profile view

Corner frame profile view



 

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