Welcome to my blog, featuring various pieces from my collection of Oz books, artwork and memorabilia!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

An Exciting Find

One of the thrills of collecting is running across something you've never seen or heard of before! Here's a piece I've just gotten hold of, and am very excited about.

This is a watercolor of David Montgomery as the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz. It was painted in 1902 by Ike Morgan, and signed by Montgomery with the dates 1902 - 1903, early in the run of the production. The pose is very close to that used on the well-known poster for the show, although it has a number of interesting minor differences, particularly in terms of angles. I've never seen this image before, or run across any other pieces by Morgan related to the show. It's possible that this may have been used for a newspaper or magazine feature, and I think there's a good chance that there was a companion painting of Fred Stone as the Scarecrow - I wonder if that might ever turn up!

 Both L. Frank Baum and W. W. Denslow knew Ike Morgan - he shared studio space at one time with Denslow and illustrated for Baum, contributing some drawings for American Fairy Tales and illustrating The Wogglebug Book (illustration to the right). He also played a role in bringing about the stage version of The Wizard of Oz, by introducing Baum to Paul Tietjans.

According to the Greene/Hearn biography of Denslow, Ike Morgan roomed with Tietjens, who became the composer for The Wizard of Oz. Baum and Tietjans started working on several stage projects, but in June of 1901, Denslow hosted Morgan's wedding reception - Tietjans performed some of his music and Denslow asked the composer to convince Baum to work with him on a stage version of the Oz story. As Baum and Denslow held a joint copyright on the book, both men had to agree in order for the show to be produced - not an easy situation as there was a good deal of friction between the two.

Consequently, Morgan seems to have been in the background of the evolution of the show, and it isn't too surprising that he should have taken an ongoing interest in the production!


Glenn Ingersoll said...

Hard to believe at this date we're getting a clearer picture of the original Broadway Wizard than was possible 50 years ago, thanks to pics like the ones you've been sharing & David Maxine's musical finds.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful piece, Bill. I'm so glad you got it! How large is it?

Bill Campbell said...

Thanks! The size is 7.5" x 15". @ Glenn - With the internet, it is easier to access some museum and library archives and collections, which is a big help when looking for photos and imagery from the show!

Unknown said...

Hey bill, I can't find your e-mail. I had a question I wanted to ask you could you e-mail be it is in regards to Ike Morgan?

Bill Campbell said...

You can email me at WCam60@aol.com