“It’s our first . . . don’t you think it looks like George?” Calendar illustration for the Thomas D. Murphy Company, 1937, republished in Dr. Seuss, the Cat Behind the Hat, by Caroline M. Smith (Chicago: The Chase Group, 2012). Pen, pencil, ink, and watercolor on stiff paper. 216×153 mm; 8 1/2×6 inches, on 10×6 1/2-inch paper. Signed “Dr. Seuss” in lower right corner; verso contains publisher’s stamp, penciled caption, and faint American Artists stamp.
Notes: “The Murphy Calendar Company wasn”t the first to approach Dr. Seuss, but they were the only people successful in getting him to produce two series of twelve paintings, which were used in promotional calendar blotters during the 1930s. These fully developed paintings mirror the style, look, and feel of his Art Deco period, featuring works with heavy black backgrounds designed to visually force the central image forward.” Seuss had only been able to publish in black and white up until this point and these calendar images represent the largest color project in his career thus far. The first calendar series was titled “Seein” Things;” this image was created for the second series called “It”s a Great World”–Smith, Caroline M., Dr. Seuss, the Cat Behind the Hat. Chicago: The Chase Group, 2012.