"Racing the Sun" is a rare surviving oil on stretched canvas painting by Ruehl Frederick Heckman, created for the Thomas D. Murphy Calendar Company. During the 1930s Heckman executed a series of five paintings for this storied calendar company, all featuring bold aviation progress and industrial themes. These works ponder the collision of the industrial revolution's streamlined machine age aesthetic with previous generations traditional and more pastoral ways. From the Charles Martignette estate; the work is beautifully framed and in a fine state of preservation and an important and decorative art deco era artifact.
This was previously purchased at a Thos. D Murphy archives auction at the Illustration House in New York City by Charles Martignette in 2005.
Born in Wisconsin on April 8, 1890, the artist resided in Pasadena and Laguna Beach California until killed in an auto accident on April 20, 1942.
He was exhibited at the following events prior to his death Painters & Sculptors of LA, 1925; Pasadena Art Inst., 1925; Artists Fiesta (LA), 1931; Calif. State Fair, 1937; Festival of the Arts (Laguna Beach), 1939; Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939.
Below are calendar prints we acquired from the archives of the Thos. D. Murphy Company that show the other works by Heckman commissioned for use during the early 1930s for calendars.