S. J. WOOLF (American 1880 - 1948) - Painter, lithographer, illustrator. His portraits, in particular, are becoming quite scarce. Each one is considered a work of art. While the faces seem to be almost photogenic, his artistry gives them humanity, and they impact the viewer. Samuel Johnson Woolf was born in New York City. He studied with Kenyon Cox and George de Forest Brush at the Art Students League and National Academy of Design, both in New York City. In 1906, Woolf painted a portrait of Mark Twain, then seventy years old. The artist's description of his experience of the famous author may be found on the internet at WoolfPortraits.Upon completion, the portrait was exhibited at the Society of American Artists, but Twain didn't like it. The painting is now in the collection of the Mark Twain House, Hartford, Connecticut. It was essentially forgotten until Mrs. Stiles Burpee conducted a search for it, based on finding a color lithograph of the portrait in her attic. Well-known art collector Thomas B. Clarke had purchased it for the collection of the Brook Club. Woolf was a frontline artist-correspondent for Time Magazine in Europe with the American Army during World War One, painting portraits of General John C. Pershing, commanding general of the U.S. forces, and General Joffre, of the French.
Woolf was employed at the New York Times before going to Time. From 1924-1935, Woolf produced two hundred charcoal portraits for Time, including those of Charles Lindbergh, Walter P. Chrysler, John L. Lewis (United Mine Workers President), and Pope Pius XI. Woolf executed a pencil portrait of President Calvin Coolidge, in 1923, and a lithographic portrait of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during World War Two.
Woolf exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Academy of Design, and New York Public Library, all in New York City; the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; and the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.
Woolf's awards include the St. Louis Exposition, 1904; Hallgarten Prize, National Academy of Design, 1904; Appalachian Exposition, 1910; and the Paris Salon Medal, France, 1937.
Country of Origin: U. S. A.
Medium: Charcoal on Paper, with White Heightener.
Size: 27" by 20" (both mat and drawing.
Signed: Lower Right "S. J. Woolf"
All artists notes are on the bottom of the drawing, as well as a notation about which Newsweek issue it was in.
Condition: The portrait area is Very Good. Some staining at the top.
About the subject: MARY NORTON (British/American 1903 - 1992) Mary Norton, or Kathleen Mary Norton née Pearson (10 December 1903 – 29 August 1992), was an English author of children's books. She is best known for the The Borrowers series of low fantasy novels (1952 to 1982), which is named after its first book and, in turn, the tiny people who live secretly in the midst of contemporary human civilization.
Norton won the 1952 Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognizing The Borrowers as the year's outstanding children's book by a British subject For the 70th anniversary of the Medal in 2007 it was named one of the top ten winning works, selected by a panel to compose the ballot for a public election of the all-time favourite.
She has many other accolades - too many to include here.
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S. J. WOOLF (American 1880 - 1948) - Original Signed/Dated Charcoal Portrait "Mrs. Mary Norton" - 1937
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