Sloan, John (American, 1871-1951). FRANKIE AND JOHNNIE. or HIM Morse 236. Etching, 1928. Edition of 100 (but only 50 were printed, by Platt). Dated and Titled in the plate, and Signed in pencil by Sloan and inscribed "100 Proofs," and also signed by Peter Platt. With tack holes and deckled edges. 5 x 8 inches, 126 x 203 mm. (plate), 8 1/2 x 12 1/4 inches (sheet). In excellent condition.
From Morse:
" A small chorus singing 'Frankie and Johnnie' crowds the tiny stage of the Provincetown Players Theater in MacDougal Street. An episode from E. E. Cummings' intelligent and entertaining production, HIM." (Sloan writing in 1945).
"HIM" is about as thrilling an evening's entertainment as I have ever experienced. I liked it thoroughly -- I do not claim to understand it -- I do not believe that a work of art can be, nor need be understood, even by the maker. It seemed to me to be a glimpse inside the cranium of an artist-poet." (Sloan in a letter to James Light, the director of the play)
Though Morse says the stars were Hemsley Williams and Goldye Steiner, it was actually Hemliey Winfield (1907 - 1934), the founder of the New Negro Art Theater Dance Group. This company was very successful and highly regarded. It appeared in the Metropolitan Opera's premier of Louis Gruenberg's setting of Eugene O'Neill's "The Emperor Jones." There was a move to replace the African-American dancers with white's in blackface, but the star, Lawrence Tibbett (who was white, and who sang in blackface), threatened to quit if that were done. Paul Robeson had played the role in the original staging of the play. Winfield's career was cut short when he dies of pneumonia at the age of only 27.
Goldye Steiner was best known as "Die Schwartze Khaznte," and was apparently the first African-American woman to serve as a cantor in a Jewish sunagogue.
Inventory # 13785

Price: $1,875.00