A whimsical and delicately rendered oil-on-canvas by John Rae embodying the artist's unique mix of pointillism and impressionism. Rae, a student of Howard Pyle, was commissioned to create this delightful painting in 1925 for a Cream Of Wheat advertisement titled "It's a Busy World When You're Five." The image features a rollicking street scene with an organ grinder and monkey entertaining children and neighborhood pets. This painting is featured as a full page insert on page 105 of Dave Stiver's book The Nabisco Brands Collection of Cream of Wheat Advertising Art, and comes nicely framed.
Selections from the rich Cream of Wheat collection of original art, including this painting, were loaned out in the late 1980s for a touring gallery exhibition. None of the original paintings commissioned for Cream of Wheat advertising have ever been available for sale. Each original piece of artwork used in Cream of Wheat advertising was carefully stored and archived at the Cream of Wheat headquarters in northeast Minneapolis. The unusual care taken to protect this thorough, well-maintained archive is testament to the foresight of Emery Mapes, who presided over the Cream of Wheat advertising campaign. Most advertising illustration in the early 20th century was considered expendable, and was quickly destroyed, lost or thrown away. Mapes insisted upon treating the art as art, and employed the finest talents working as illustrators to help developed Cream of Wheat's folksy nostalgic iconography. Counted among the artists Mapes recruited are N.C. Wyeth, Jessie Willcox Smith, Phillip Goodwin, J.C. Leyendecker, James Montgomery Flagg and Edward V. Brewer. With the help of this stable of talent, the Cream of Wheat advertising campaign came to define some of the most enduring visions of American hearth and home.