Demure Woman in Straw Bonnet by J. Knowles Hare
This is a large, early 1900s pastel illustration by John Knowles Hare that was created for the calendar market during the Edwardian era. In this portrait, a demure brown-eyed lass gazes out towards the viewer from underneath a stylish, wide-brimmed straw bonnet with flowers. This lovely pastel is housed in its original, lined, ornate gesso frame.
This illustration comes from the collection of esteemed illustration art collector Norman Platnick.
About the artist: J. Knowles Hare
Known for his drypoint etching portraits and his magazine cover illustrations, J. Knowles Hare was born in Montclair, New Jersey. He was a member of the Society of Illustrators in New York. In the early 1900s he had many magazine covers, and he also did drypoint etchings, one of the more famous being "Sympathy."
He was a frequent contributor of saccharine portraits of 1920s-type young women for the covers of "The Saturday Evening Post" and "The Country Gentleman" magazines.
There is some confusion as to whether he went by the name John or Joseph, with his family and scholars like Norm Platnick determining he used Joseph, but archives of employers such at "The Saturday Evening Post" recording his name as John.
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.