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Grays Best

Art
The Cat Man Named Coheleach

An all-American original who sees the fire in the big cat’s eyes, and paints it.
by Brooke Chilvers
From the November/December 2008 issue.

Years ago in the Central African Republic, three lions strode into our safari camp in full daylight. The staff scattered, climbing into trees or vehicles, while I hid in my straw hut armed with a fishing spear. The thrill of fear that day fueled my infatuation with paintings of big cats.

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Percival Leonard Rousseau

An uncommon journey from orphan to artist.
by Brooke Chilvers
from the August 2008 issue

The 60-second black-and-white silent film shows a kindly looking gentleman in fedora and tie surrounded by a horde of eager English setters vying for a pat. It’s the 1930s, and American dog artist Percival Rosseau (1859 –1937) moves confidently through his kennels near Old Lyme, Connecticut, like Jay Leno working the front row of his audience.

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Rembrandt Bugatti

A Menagerie in Bronze.
by Brooke Chilvers
from the May/June 2008 issue

 

In January 1916, the elegantly dressed 31-year-old Italian-born animalier sculptor, Rembrandt Bugatti, attended Mass at Paris’s La Madeleine church, purchased violets from his customary merchant, and returned to his studio. 

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Mister Currier & Mister Ives & Mister Tate

 “Publishers of Cheap and Popular Pictures” of, among other interesting subjects, Victorian sportfishing.
by Brooke Chilvers
From the April 2008 issue.

If you were alive before Joe DiMaggio first laid eyes on Marilyn Monroe, chances are your grandparents grew up with a Currier & Ives lithograph in the house. For 50 years (1857 to 1907) the “Publishers of Cheap and Popular Pictures”—a firm built by the tall, politically liberal, and melancholy Nathaniel Currier and the short, plump, and jovial James Merritt Ives—averaged three new titles every week, totaling some 7,500 individual works and perhaps a million prints.

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