De Lappe, Pele (American, 1916-2007). WOMEN'S FITTING ROOM - S. KLEIN ON THE SQUARE. Pencil, 1932. Signed in pencil. 8 X 10 inches (sheet). Staining on verso has bled through to the front, but still In very good condition overall. Provenance: Private collection, New Jersey.
S. Klein's was a New York Department Store chain, with its main store located on Union Square, known as a good resounrce for budget shoppers. "On The Square" connoted not just the location of the store, but that one could expect a "square deal" there too. This drawing was purchased by the previous owner directly from DeLappe, who told him that the scene was the was the Women's Fittling Room at Klein's.
Phyllis "Pele" Murdock de Lappe was an American artist, known for her social realist paintings, prints, and drawings. She also worked as a journalist, newspaper editor, illustrator, and political cartoonist. de Lappe had been a resident for many years in Berkeley, California and later, Petaluma, California." (Wikipedia). In her self-published memoir "Pele: A Passionate Journey Through Art and the Red Press" DeLappe mentions visiting and participating in dance marathons in New York in the 1930s.