Scarce 1941 color lithograph print titled in the lower left margin "Babes in the wood" and facsimile signature in right margin by the noted California artist CONRAD BUFF (1886-1975). These prints are sometimes found with pencil signatures, and many were issued in small editions generally under 200 examples. I cannot be certain as to the edition size of this particular title. Museums collect Buff's prints, which have been overshadowed by his bold, colorful, often modernistic landscape paintings of California and the Southwest. The artist was born in Switzerland and was in Los Angeles before the age of 20. He started there painting houses and small pictures. By the 1920's he had achieved modest success and recognition, and mural commissions came his way, as he continued to paint. It was during the 1930's that he collaborated with his artist wife Mary on children's book projects; Conrad did the illustrations. This image was probably used in one of those children's books. Buff's paintings appear with some frequency at auctions in California, and some have brought to $70,000. This print is in generally excellent condition; it is lightly taped at top to a mat (not laid down), and with fresh colors. I opened it up to see if there was a signature and saw only the blue facsimile and title. Near that facsimile is a stray pencil mark in the margin. I would suggest re-matting to include the title and signature as the present mat blocks that out. The print sheet measures 15" by 18 1/2" and the piece is 23 3/4" by 24 1/2" as framed. It might be advisable to ship this between boards, out of the frame.
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