Jun 24, 2010 - Sale 2219

Sale 2219 - Lot 1

Estimate: $ 1,200 - $ 1,800
RALPH A. CHESSÉ (1900 - 1991)
Untitled (Flapper).

Ink and ink wash on thin board, 1926. 362x286mm; 14 1/4x11 1/4 inches, full margins. Signed in ink, lower right.

Ralph Chessé grew up in New Orleans, and moved to San Francisco in 1924. While he is recognized as a puppeteer and movie set designer, famous for marionettes such as those he created for the 1937 production of Eugene O'Neil's The Emperor Jones, Chessé also had an early career as a painter and printmaker during the WPA. In 1934, he was one of 26 artists chosen to paint the frescoes in San Francisco's Coit Tower as part of the Public Works of Art Project, the first New Deal program benefiting artists.

His drawing of a 1920s flapper evokes the theatricality found in his later stage creations.