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

Sunday, July 12, 2020

The Patriotic Mr Neill Part 2

A second piece of artwork by John R. Neill accompanied the World War One letters mentioned in my last post. This drawing shows a speaker in front of a large statue of George Washington, with a pillared building loosely sketched in the background.

A government letter from Chalmers Wood, manager of the Speakers Bureau, mentions the
"...very handsome and decorative picture of the Sub-Treasury Steps speaker, which I am going to use for the exhibition of the work of the Speakers' Bureau...It just carries out the idea of what I wanted and should give visitors from upstate a very clear conception of what we can furnish them in the way of speakers."

This particular drawing is set outside of Federal Hall in New York, the first capital building of the USA, where a statue of Washington stands. The drawing is approximately 3 feet tall, good for exhibition purposes!

There are some interesting bits of information in the other letters. There was a Victory Dinner and Dance on Friday February 14th, 1919 at the New Commodore Hotel. A letter dated Feb 25th, from Charles Dana Gibson, thanks Neill for a page in what seems to have been a commemorative book. This was given to Gibson, and presumably contained drawings by the various artists associated with the poster project. Apparently a bust of Gibson was presented as well, but there was a problem. A letter dated March 10th, was sent from the secretary of the committee,
"appealing to the artists associated with the Department of Pictorial Publicity to help us out of our predicament by contributing a small donation - say from two to ten dollars."
The contributions were needed to cover a shortage of funds for the bust, dinner, and dance amounting to $500, which had to be addressed as quickly as possible!

No comments: