1923 Large Format Photographs Messmore & Damon Shrine Decorations for Washington D.C. Of Artist in Their Studios and Sculptures Loaded on Trucks (with) Original Artwork on Back Depicting a War Savings Float Idea
(Messmore & Damon)

New York: Messmore & Damon, 1923. Large format photographs; two mounted one on top of the other on the same cardstock mount; one with the sculptor at work in the firm's studio, putting the finishing touches on a large sphinx form, with machinery, other carved animals visible in the loft area - picture below shows 3 of these huge sphinxes mounted on a flatbed trailer, being pulled by a truck with some of the firm's carved camels aboard on the back; each truck with large banners which state that these are the "...Shrine Decorations..."; the photographs together measure 11" high by 9 1/2" wide, with the mount card giving some border surrounding; illustrating the work of Messmore & Damon - were a New York-based "...Design and construction firm (Begun in 1918) that produced a wide variety of parade floats, dioramas for museums, exhibits for expositions, displays for department stores, scenery for films, Broadway and TV shows, and exhibits for corporate clients. Most of their parade and department store work featured mechanical devices which animated the animal and human figures involved, pioneering in what became known as "animatronics"." (Smithsonian site); on the back, taking up most of the surface, is an rendering done in 6 colors, including gold gilt paint, entitled "Suggestion for War Savings Float" with the float having several patriotic eagles, red-white & blue bunting, "W.S.S. Work-Save-Serve" motto at side, skillfully, professionally done as a model perhaps for one of the firm's parade floats, art not signed; we speculate that the photos were mounted to the artwork later - the art obviously for a World War One fundraising effort, the photographs dated later, from internal evidence; the photographs in good shape, very little surface wear & tear; the artwork with some abrasion and loss, soiling and scratching; still very interesting; mount card with soiling, edgechipping and wear; still a great survival of this company's early work, the precursor to modern film and entertainment techniques; on the artwork side also is a small die-cut sticker, with the printed words "I.A. Prize D.M." which may mean an industrial arts award was given for the design, perhaps internally for the company. Good (Item ID: 20378)


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