James Redmond WPA Drawing of Cat and Insect from the 1930s
Here we have a large original WPA drawing of a black cat and insect by James McKay Redmond, a California artist from the 30s/40s who gave his life at the Battle of the Bulge.
This is just a great drawing that has everything going for it: the look, the subject matter, and the powerful history of the artist. I think it's composed of both charcoal and graphite but I'm not certain.
Let's get right to the background:
Here's a biography courtesy of the book "Artists in California, 1786 - 1940" by Edan Hughes (Who's Who in American Art 1938-41; Los Angeles Times, 7-22-1945) Source page
"Born in 1900. Redmond was active in Los Angeles by the 1920s and a pupil of Stanton MacDonald-Wright at the ASL. During the Depression he painted murals for the Federal Art Project. During WWII he was a staff sergeant in the Corps of Engineers until his death in the Battle of the Bulge on Dec. 21, 1944. Exh: Modern Art Workers (LA), 1925; LACMA, 1928; Zeitlin Book Store (LA), 1929, 1933; Calif. Art Club, 1929; Architects Bldg (LA), 1929; Younger Painters of LA, 1930; Beverly Hills Hotel, 1932; Stickney Hall (Pasadena), 1932; Rose Bookshop (Hollywood), 1933; Santa Monica Woman's Club, 1933; Barbieri-Price Gallery (LA), 1934; Foundation of Western Art (LA), 1935; Santa Monica Public Library, 1935; Painters & Sculptors of LA, 1936; Rivers"
Here are some pictures of a New Deal mural in California, painted by the artist.
Here's a great article about the Art Students League (ASL) of Los Angeles, where Mr. Redmond was a student and teacher.
Here's the only other available piece I could find by Mr. Redmond. It's a lithograph from the cat series of drawings.
The framed artwork measures 25" wide and 19" tall. The exposed drawing measures 19 1/2" x 13 1/2". The drawing paper is experiencing some slight "waves" within the matting (see pic). There are a few minor discoloration spots, and the matting is discolored along the inner edges. I feel these aspects don't take away from the overall look of the piece.
The frame still holds the draiwing and matting. In my opinion the original reverse cardboard backing should be replaced. The glass has no visible cracks but does have some general wear from over the years.
When the cardboard backing is removed, you can see a watermark in the top right corner (see pic). The bottom part says "Drawing Board" but I can't make out the rest. The drawing paper is attached to the matting with some kind of adhesive (see pic). Please see all pics as they are part of the description.
I ship to the continental USA only. Free shipping on this rare original drawing.
What an honor to own such a unique piece by a WWII war hero. I think we're all lucky that Mr. Redmond produced some great pieces before he gave his life to a noble cause. Thanks to him, his family and all who knew him.