This is a gouache and watercolor and ink on paper work, 21" by 29" (28 1/2" by 36" as framed), laid on board, by the California artist, socialite, and model, LUCILE BROKAW (1915-1984). The artist appears to be not well known today, although a student of George Grosz, but she was obviously talented and appears to have led a fascinating and glamorous life. There is a lot of information about her on the internet, a lot of it focusing on perhaps her greatest claim to fame: she was the subject of a landmark 1933 photograph by photographer Martin Munkacsi, showing her running on a Long Island beach. The black and white photo is now considered an iconic work, as the first fashion photograph showing a moving subject outside, a revolutionary concept at the time. The photograph and another of her appear at auction from time to time (see photos I've taken from the computer). Lucile was beautiful, glamorous, and popular. She was born into a wealthy New York family, the daughter of Irving Brokaw, of Brokaw Brothers department store fame. Irving was a champion figure skater early in the century. By age 20, in 1935, his beautiful socialite daughter Lucile was catching attention, her marriage listed in Time Magazine's "Milestones" column. She married a couple of times during her life, going by the name Lucile van Riemsdyk in the 1950's, while married to Dutch art expert Rombout van Riemsdyk. The present painting is inscribed at lower left "To Philip and Marianne Dorn" above her signature and the date "48". Philip Dorn was a rather well known actor at the time, and his wife was also in the profession---google them for more information. Lucile lived in Pacific Palisades on the west side of Los Angeles in the late 1950's and the 1960's when her work was featured at the Esther Robles Gallery in L.A.. This painting might have appeared at those exhibitions; it is numbered "#16" and titled "Houses and Boats in a Cove". Somehow it ended up in a San Fernando Valley estate sale, showing the effects of some neglect. There is widespread water drip damage showing as vertical dribs and drabs over much of the surface, visible especially in the white areas. It's so evenly spaced that one is tempted to call it intentional but I doubt that is the case. From a middle distance it is much less a factor, blending into the busy brushstrokes. Ask for more photos of the condition issues. The style somewhat resembles that of John Marin or George Grosz, the latter being her teacher. All in all this painting leads the researcher into a glamorous world now long past.
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