Original 16" by 18" ink on paper drawing of two men in slickers in an overloaded canoe in a rainstorm, their faces reacting to the increasing challenges as they are apparently taking on water, signed at lower right by the noted American illustrator HENRY "HY" SUMNER WATSON (1868-1933). The drawing was evidently produced for eventual publication by Outing Publishing Co., as their violet "PAID" stamp dated April 10, 1907 and "Book Department" appears on the reverse. Also there, giving some insight into the artist's creative struggle, is a drawing of the figure in the front of the boat, all crossed out with a large blot of ink. Watson worked mainly in New Jersey and New York (this was found in central New Jersey). He is known as an illustrator of fish and game, wildlife, hunting and fishing----the subjects of the great outdoors. An editor at Field and Stream, he contributed to publishers of his time such as Scribner's. He studied at the Academie Julian in Paris and Thomas Eakins was a teacher at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Oils and drawings appear occasionally on the auction market. This drawing bears evidence of its age, the paper browned, and there are two tears snaking in from the edges. There is a vertical scratch in the paper by the front figure, barely visible in the busy scene. These original illustration drawings destined for publication were often just discarded or lost; the acquired faults pale in comparison to the cruel fates of so many similar illustration works, which were not prized at the time. Their survival was far from assured. The simple black frame in which this was found (not pictured) is available at no extra cost (frame is 20 1/2" by 22 3/4") .
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