Seaside Country Flapper Girl by Bertram Basabe
This is a beautifully colored gouache painting by English-American illustrator Bertram Basabe. A bucolic early 20th century offering, this painting features a lovely country flapper girl with hay colored hair and rosy windblown cheeks. Standing in a field of wildflowers, this beauty holds her hand up to her forehead as she looks off into the distance with her provincial seaside town visible in the stretch behind her.
We have been unable to find a published example of this work, but it is likely to have been a calendar illustration of some sort, possibly for Joseph Hoover and Sons Calendar Company or the American Art Works Company, both companies which Basabe frequently worked for.
This has been signed by the artist in the lower left corner of the painting. In excellent condition, this painting has been professionally matted and framed under glass.
This illustration comes from the collection of esteemed illustration art collector Norman Platnick.
About the artist: Bertram Basabe
Bertram Basabe was an illustrator in the early 1900's. His middle name is spelled either Dorian and Dorien. His paintings were mostly used for calendar art. A majority of his paintings were mystical Indian maidens, nudes in a fantasy setting or beautiful women that were used for calendars.
He was born Ethelred Basabe in 1868 in England and changed his name to Bertram sometime around 1891. He moved to the USA sometime after 1901. Much of his work was produced by Joseph Hoover and Sons Calendar Company as well as the American Art Works Company all as calendar prints. He was also a well known photographer.
The Legacy of Norman Platnick
In his New York Times obituary, Norman Platnick’s son Will said that his father had three passions in life, his wife Nancy, spiders, and collecting.
Few individuals have the chance to leave a mark like Norm’s in even one field, let alone two. But Norm managed to be both a celebrated scientist, and one of the most influential lay historians of illustration art.
Under his imprint Enchantment Ink, Norm researched, wrote, and published collectors guides to artists like Rolf Armstrong and Earl Christy. We at Grapefruit Moon Gallery rely on these books in our work, and they are now all freely available as PDFs through the Enchantment Ink website.
Norm’s expertise was a gift, his friendship was a treasure, and his legacy is immeasurable. He is missed.