Apr 06, 2017 - Sale 2442

Sale 2442 - Lot 74

Price Realized: $ 11,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 12,000 - $ 18,000
ALMA W. THOMAS (1891 - 1978)
Hello Dolly.

Acrylic with pencil on canvas board, circa 1967. 610x457 mm; 24x18 inches.

Provenance: gift from the artist, Scott Kirkpatrick, Washington, DC (1967); thence by descent to the current owner, private collection, Delaware. Scott Kirkpatrick was the manager of the National Theatre in the 1960s and 70s, and a friend of Alma Thomas who was an avid theater goer. Kirkpartrick had invited Alma Thomas to be his guest at a performance of Hello Dolly, and as a thank you she made him this painting.

In this painting, Alma Thomas celebrates the actress Pearl Bailey in her famous scene, descending a staircase in her fabulous pink dress and hat. On October 8, 1967, Hello Dolly opened at the National Theatre starring Pearl Bailey, produced by David Merrick and co-starring Cab Calloway and an all-black cast. It became so successful that it was later produced as a Broadway show, where it played to sold-out houses, and Ms. Bailey winning a Tony Award for her title role.

Pearl Bailey (1918 - 1990) was an American actress and singer from Newport News, Virginia. Starting her career in vaudeville in Washington, Bailey established a long career in entertainment from competing in Harlem's Apollo Theater to making her debut on Broadway in St. Louis Woman, but her most notable performance was in Hello Dolly. Wilson/Yanari p. 23.