Jun 07, 2018 - Sale 2481

Sale 2481 - Lot 349

Price Realized: $ 10,625
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 8,000 - $ 12,000
(CUBA.) Meeker, Edwin James. 19 grisaille gouache and watercolor drawings on illustration board. Image sizes approximately 11x17 inches, board sizes approximately 15x20 inches; each signed "E.J. Meeker" at lower corners; board margins chipped and stained, images generally clean, a few with minor paint flaking. Cuba, circa 1920

Additional Details

A fine collection of original drawings which were published in Willis Fletcher Johnson's monumental and comprehensive "History of Cuba", New York: B.F. Buck, 1920.

Little biographical information is known about late 19th century American illustrator James Edwin Meeker, however in his career as a professional artist he achieved a prolific output of skilled images which accompanied stories published in weekly magazines such as Harper's, Scribner's, Frank Lesley's Newspaper and other independently contracted publications such as Johnson's.

Meeker is given no credit for his illustrations in the published book; however the present group showcases his full range of artistic skill: precise architectural detail, scale and balance of figures and landscape and strong composition techniques and tonal gradation. These 19 finished works are finely executed and beautifully represent Havana and the surrounding countryside of Cuba in its early years as a republic.

The present collection represents the majority of Meeker's contribution to the published work; each painting is loosely titled in pencil in the mount margins, but given here as each corresponds to the full page plate titles in Johnson's History: The Havana Cathedral La Fuerza Havana (the oldest inhabited building in the western hemisphere) Morro Castle, Havana San Francisco Church Laurel Ditch, Cabanas Fortress In Old Havana The Old Presidential Palace A Santiago Sunset The Prado The Academy of Arts and Crafts Boneato Road, Oriente The Vinales Valley San Juan River, Matanzas On The Cauto River The Gomez Building In New Havana Colon Park Grand Central Railway Station, Havana. An one drawing which apparently was not published in Johnson's book which is captioned "A Rural Home - Birthplace of Ex-President Monocal Near Matanzas, Cuba."