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Estimate: $ 10,000 - $ 15,000
JOHN MARIN Cityscape (Cover for World Service of the American Express).
Watercolor, gouache and crayon on paper, circa 1920. 280x204 mm; 11x8 inches. Signed in crayon, lower right recto.
Provenance: Private collection, Florida.
The World Service of the American Express Company (later published as the American Express Monthly) was an employee magazine published in London from June 1920 to September 1921. Marin (1870-1953) may have been invited to provide a cover design for the magazine (though there is no published edition of the magazine with this cover by Marin), through his connection with Alfred Stieglitz or another media contact in New York, though Marin rarely worked in commercial illustration. Other artists who contributed to the short-lived World Service of the American Express Company magazine include the prolific Hungarian illustrator Willy Pogany (1882-1955) and the American graphic designer William T. Sniffin, who was a lead designer at American Type Founders, New Jersey, from 1927-33.
The current work uses a similar composition and subject as Marin's 1920 watercolor, Lower Manhattan, in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York and his 1921 etching Downtown, The El (see lot 120).