“Let’s Play” c.1920s
- Graphite on artist board
- Image: 15.50“ high x 12” wide
- Frame: 29” high x 24” wide
- Signature lower right, title lower left
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About the work
A charming original c.1920s pencil drawing by New England artist Marguerite Kirmse (1885-1954). Kirmse typically sketched her subjects in pencil as the first step in producing her highly collectable etchings. This particular image was used as the study for an etching titled “Let’s Play.”
Kirmse reproduced her work by incising lines on a copper plate using a diamond-pointed pencil. After painstakingly working up the image on the plate, it was then taken to a printmaker, who, under the artist’s supervision, would “pull” from just a few to almost one hundred images. Her highly detailed pencil studies like “Let’s Play” are exceptionally scarce.
This work is housed in a period frame under museum glass.
About the artist…
Marguerite Kirmse was born in Bournemouth, England in 1885. Her early years in the United States are not known in any detail, but she was certainly devoting a great deal of time to pencil sketches, pastels, and oil. In the Manhattan office of the American Kennel Club there are pastel portraits of two Sealyham Terriers, both by Kirmse and dated 1917 and 1918. These appear to have been commissioned portraits and would indicate that the artist was reasonably well established as a specialist in canine art well before she executed her first dry point in 1921.
Etchings were Kirmse's forte and from 1921 until her death in 1954, she executed at least 82 titles depicting everything from Scottish Terriers to Pekingese. While it is standard procedure today for an artist to number as well as sign etchings, none of Kirmse's works was numbered. Reportedly, in 1929, at the early peak of her popularity, one of Marguerite Kirmse's etchings sold for $750.
The artist raised Scottish Terriers under the kennel name of Tobermory at her home, Arcady Farm, near Bridgewater, Connecticut, where she resided with her American husband whom she married in 1924. Biography excepts courtesy of AskArt - Source: Michael Taylor.
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