Illustration Art: Winter 2021 Highlights

At Auction January 28, 2021

Lot 211: Joseph F. Kernan, College Football, oil on canvas, cover for The Saturday Evening Post, 1932. Estimate $25,000 to $35,000.

Featuring the Dick McDonough Collection of Golf Illustration

This sale brightens up January with a collection of golf illustrations formed by the avid collector and esteemed author on the subject, Dick McDonough. Many of the famous illustrators represented here were fans of the sport, including James Montgomery Flagg, Arthur B. Frost, Lealand Gustavson, John Held, Jr., and Arthur Sarnoff. A small group of fine printed graphics and posters completes the section. From the humorous to the picturesque, these depictions tell the visual story of the sport that’s been around for 800 years.

Lot 219: Howard Chandler Christy, In the Field, charcoal and watercolor on board, story illustration published in Scribner’s magazine, 1902. Estimate $8,000 to $12,000.
Lot 238: John Held Jr., The Senior Member Drops His False Teeth at the Water Hole, mixed media, probable calendar image, circa 1922. Estimate $5,000 to $7,500.

Children’s Book & Magazine Illustration

The children’s illustration section has Clement Hurd’s first pencil drawing for The Runaway Bunny to come to auction, a colorful Hilary Knight image, and storyboards and artwork for William Pène du Bois’s classics William’s Doll, Little Red Riding Hood, and The Planet of Lost Things.

Related Reading: Illustrator Profile, William Pène du Bois

Lot 31: Johnanna Stewart Mapes, A Fairy Book, conté crayon, illustration for a poem published in St. Nicholas Magazine, 1907. Estimate $2,500 to $3,500.
Lot 29: Arnold Lobel, “The sled began to move down the hill,” pen and ink, illustration for The Frog and Toad Coloring Book, 1981. Estimate $3,000 to $4,000.

General Book, Magazine, Advertising & Design Illustration

Works of narrative art created for books and magazines by twentieth century illustrators include pieces by Rockwell Kent, Maxfield Parrish, Mahlon Blaine, Virgil Finlay, Victor Prezio, and a group of illustrations by N.C. Wyeth for H.W. Longfellow’s The Courtship of Miles Standish. Fresh to the auction block is a small group of intricate pen-and-ink drawings by master of architectural and engineering illustration, David Macaulay, for some of his bestsellers Castle, Cathedral, Treasures from the Motel of the Mysteries, and Underground.

Lot 123: N.C. Wyeth, Standish Reading / “Heading Canto II,” pen and ink, illustration for The Courtship of Miles Standish, 1920. Estimate $5,000 to $7,500.
Lot 86: Elbert McGran Jackson, “Such a gay party at Barry Snayre’s!…” oil on canvas, published in Cosmopolitan, 1934. Estimate $3,000 to $5,000.

Theater & Fashion

Compelling performing arts images include Lincoln Center calendar illustrations by Milton Glaser and modernist theater designs by Alexandra Exter.

Lot 142: Alexandra Exter, Constructivist cityscape, graphite, set design. Estimate $2,500 to $3,500.
Lot 150: Antonio Lopez, Today’s Fashions, Connecticut / Maureen Goss, study for the illustration published in The New York Times, 1981. Estimate $2,500 to $3,500.

Comics, Cartoons & Caricatures

Cartoons and comics showcase classic creators like Charles Addams and Nell Brinkley to current day humorists like Barry Blitt, while the section’s subset of The New Yorker offers fun and bright covers by Constantin Alajalov, Barbara Shermund, and Arthur Getz.

Lot 176: Nell Brinkley, The Pan Flute, ink on paper mounted to board, 1915. Estimate $1,000 to $1,500.
Lot 199: Charles Schulz, “I’ll have to go back to the house…I forgot my rubbers…” pen and ink, original Peanuts comic, 1960. Estimate $8,000 to $12,000.

The New Yorker

Lot 159: Constantin Alajalov, Family Tree, watercolor and gouache, cover for The New Yorker, 1938. Estimate $3,000 to $4,000.

Sports Illustrations & Cartoons

Not restricted to golf, fans of football, tennis, and baseball will find images relating to those classic games as well, through works by Leslie Thrasher, Gibson Crockett, and the auction debut of an iconic 1932 Saturday Evening Post cover of college football by Joseph Kernan.

Lot 216: Leslie Thrasher, Conference on the Mound, oil on canvas, cover for The Saturday Evening Post, 1912. Estimate $8,000 to $12,000.
Lot 206: Gibson Crockett, Navy vs. Syracuse, gouache with collaged lettering on board, program cover for a Navy-Syracuse football game, 1977. Estimate $2,000 to $3,000.

What You Need to Know on Auction Day

This auction will be held live and conducted remotely.

There will not be bidding in the room, though we accept order bids, and interested buyers will be able to participate live via the Swann Galleries App. The app is available in the App Store and on Google Play, which can also be accessed on a desktop at

Please note: phone bidding registrations will close the day before the sale at 4pm. 

At this time, our exhibition and auction location at 104 East 25th Street is closed to the public. Private viewings are available by appointment only, and must be arranged in advance. To make an appointment please contact the specialist.


Christine von der Linn

Director, Illustration Art

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