Illustrator Arthur William Brown’s graphite on paper depiction a chic Parisian street scene populated by American ex-pats was created to accompany a short story by Kenyon Gambier titled The Mad Masquerade in the March 26, 1927 edition of The Saturday Evening Post. Kenyon Gambier was a pen name of U.S. Diplomat Lorin Andrews Lathrop, who created a pseudonym off of the name of his alma mater and it’s Ohio town to allow him anonymity in addressing sensitive political issues in his fiction. The intrigue in this scene, however, appears more personal than international.
This has been signed and dated by the artist in the lower left corner of the illustration. Brown also later inscribed and gifted this to a Leon Morgan in 1964.
An issue of The Saturday Evening Post with the published illustration is included in the sale.
The illustration is beautifully matted and framed behind glass in a decorative painted wood frame with a hanging wire on the back.
Arthur William Brown / A W Brown (1881 – 1966)
“Brownie,” as his artist friends called him, epitomizes the rule of “90% of life is just showing up.” A Canadian school drop out, he worked on a steamer, sketching in his spare time (he sold these to newspapers).
Saving his earnings, he enrolled at the Art Student’s League and studied under Walter Appleton Clark, F W DuMond, and FR Gruger. When a friend got a job from the Saturday Evening Post to cover a circus, Brownie went along. The Post liked the article AND Brown’s circus drawings, which bought them, a relationship between publisher and artist that lasted 40-years.
Brown’s pencils appeared in most Post issues from the teens on. He concentrated on story art (no covers) for Collier’s, College Humor, Redbook, and Cosmopolitan.
He also contributed posters for the WWI effort and book art for books (The Magnificent Ambersons, Alice Adams, The Fortune Hunter, The Upper Crust, Messer Marco Polo, and The Midlanders, The Lady Evelyn).
The vast majority of Brown’s work was in pencil, though ink and color wash began appearing in his kit from the early 30s.
Source: “Arthur William Brown/A.W. Brown,” American Art Archives