"A Social Gathering"   Lot no. 3788

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By Orson Byron Lowell (1871-1956)

1900 (Estimated)
20.875" x 29.875"
Pen and Ink, and Ink Wash on Paper
Signed Lower Left



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The label affixed to the reverse suggests that this was an illustration for a fictional story and dates the drawing to c. 1900:

"As a possible illustration for a fictional story, Lowell provides three separate views of a social gathering. The dramatic costume silhouettes suggest that these scenes are from the latter part of the Bustle period. As the 1890s progressed, fashion styles developed through shifts in the ready-to-wear market foreshadowing important trends that would emerge in the early 20th Century."

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Orson Byron Lowell was the son of the landscape painter, Milton H. Lowell, and his father encouraged his early efforts by expecting him to draw something every day. He attended the Art Institute of Chicago classes in 1887, remaining as a student and then as an instructor until 1893, when he moved to New York to enter the illustration field.

   He found immediate success there and worked for most of the top magazines, including The Century, Scribner’s, McClure’s, The Harper’s publications, Puck, Judge, Collier’s and the Curtis magazines in Philadelphia. He also illustrated many books. In 1907 he became a member of the Life staff and was a prolific contributor for many years, often featured with humorous centerfold double-spread pen and inks.

   Lowell maintained studios in New York and in New Rochelle, and was a member of the Society of Illustrators, the Players, the Dutch Treat Club, the Cliff Dwellers (of Chicago), and the New Rochelle Art Association.