"Chocolate Creams"   Lot no. 3698

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By Maud (Bogart) Humphrey (American- 1865-1940)

1894 (Estimated)
9.25" x 13.5"
Watercolor on Paper
Signed Lower Right



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Original illustration for 'A Treasury of Stories, Jingles and Rhymes' published by Frederick A. Stokes Company in 1894, appears on page 22, the title for this image, 'Chocolate Creams', signed lower right.Image measures 9.25 x 13.5, sheet is 11 x 15.5 inches.

Explore related art collections: $100 - $5,000 / Children / Advertisements / Women Artists

See all original artwork by Maud (Bogart) Humphrey



Maud Humphrey was born March 30, 1868 in Rochester, New York to John Perkins Humphrey (DOD 1906) and Frances V. Dewey Churchill.  Raised in the 3rd Ward an area of the Rochester elite.  The pride of her prominent family origins is apparent with the use of her maiden name in the signature on all her art.  She started drawing at a young age.  At the age of 12 she studied under Reverend James H. Dennis, a family friend two nights per week.  Rev. Dennis studied art at the National Academy of Design.  The school was free and after two winters of instruction that included oil painting her eyes failed.  For 2 years she did not use her eyes for reading or drawing.  She suffered with migraine headaches the remainder of her life, but maintained a high level of creative productivity.  The love of art and drawing grew along with her.

By the winter of 1884 she started illustrating for children's books and magazines.  Then in 1885 she left for New York City of study in the Art Student's League.  Each winter she returned to New York City to continue her studies that were interrupted by commissions and return trips to Rochester.  Two terms of watercolor instruction was all she received.  From 1886-1887 she took "life" and "antique" art classes drawing from live models and plaster casts.  Then at sixteen Humphrey started illustrating in children's magazines.  These commissions were from The Century Company and House of Harper.  She won Louis and Prang and Company competitions for Christmas card and created Valentine designs. Now 20 she gave a child's picture to a friend, who took the picture for framing to Frederick A. Stokes Company.  Mr. Stokes was impressed with her work.  Through correspondence Humphrey agreed to illustrate a book for Mr. Stokes.  The project developed into two years of her exclusive contract with the company for her color work.

She was driven creating an estimated quality 10 colored drawings per week.  Her art began to fulfill her life because of continuing publisher's acceptance.  She limited herself to 5 hours of sleep a night. Humphrey developed a personal style of dressing in colors of gray and white with lavender or mauve accents for her professional wardrobe.  She had grown to a tall 5 foot 10 inches with an hourglass figure, but with extremely small feet and hands.  The sophistication of her style included lace chokers, bows, scarves, colorful ribbons and high heels.  She hated hats, but featured hats in her art, since they were the style of the day.  Her hair was curly with the occasional professional permanent wave. Humphrey was fashionable while working in her studio wearing crisp smocks and stylish shoes.  (Her maternal grandfather was a shoe manufacturer with a home at 5 Greenwood.)  The neatness of her studio was also reflected in the quality of her artwork.

The illustrations of Humphrey's little women and little men, rosy cheeked children, moppets, bright eyed babies and misses promoted many national brand products including Ivory Soap, Crosman Bro's Flower Seeds, Mellin Baby Food Company, Wilkie & Platt's, Elgin Watch Company, Sunshine Stoves, Ranges and Furnaces, Butterick Patterns, Equitable Insurance, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and Anheuser-Busch.  The value of her work like the Anheuser-Busch 1906 Art Nouveau calendar in good condition commands thousands today.  During the years of 1890-1920 the America consumers demand for printed books in four color, illustrated periodicals, calendars, postcards, advertising cards, and greeting cards provided recognition for Humphrey and increased the demand for her work.  Humphrey's color work technique is proof that timing is everything.

Humphrey's art filled American homes and lives with delightful children created with her talent, drive and ambition.  The print art of the Victorian era may have been the only art in an American home.The sweet simplicity of a child playing in a perfect and idealistic world far removed from the realities of the era.