This original gouache painting by Harry Bennett was used as cover art for the Pyramid paperback publication of “Cry Shame” written by Gore Vidal under the pseudonym Katherine Everard. During his early career, Vidal published under several pseudonyms in order to evade the accusation that the rate of his publishing made it impossible for him to be a “serious” literary author. Though published under a pulp imprint, and with all the trappings of lurid melodrama, the book has lived on as an intriguing tale of of a “wise-beyond-her-years 13-year-old who begins her show biz career as a singer in a New Orleans nightclub and eventually becomes a Hollywood star, married to a much older man and in love with an ‘ambisextrous movie star.”
This artwork was created to capitalize on the sexual undertones of the life of the theater, and illustrated the first paperback release of the book (also known as “A Star’s Progress). This is a singular opportunity to own an original piece of both illustration art and literary history, with playful and colorful style. Painting is handsomely matted and framed behind glass – from the estate of Charles Martignette.