Rebecca - Taking a Snooze
Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) once said that “time spent with cats is never wasted.” Neither is time spent with this charming drawing by John Alonzo Williams (1869–1951), an American painter and illustrator born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He studied at the Art Students League and the Metropolitan School of Art in New York City. Later, he joined the American Watercolour Society, the Salmagundi Club, and the National Academy of Design. Today, his painting The Watchful Cat hangs in the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. An avid cat lover, Williams captured his own cats in unique sketches, chalk drawings, and watercolour paintings. This particular chalk drawing features a grey-brown tabby cat taking a nap in a cozy, circular bed. The chalk medium makes the scene appear soft and dream-like. The use of cross-hatches, broad painterly marks, and overlapping lines of various thicknesses create a precise yet dreamy image. Black was used to outline elements of the work and define shapes and figures. Williams provides such realistic texture, that one is tempted to reach out and pet this precious cat. This work was acquired by Helen Mazelow (1927–2005), who was an art buyer for Sears along with Vincent Price (1911–1993), and comes professionally framed. This sketch is one in a series of three; purchase Rebecca - Taking a Snooze on its own, or collect all three!
At this time in New York City, prominent socialite and philanthropist Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (1874–1948) and two of her friends, Lille P. Bliss (1864–1931) and Mary Quinn Sullivan (1877–1939) developed an idea to open a modern art gallery in New York City. They succeeded in opening a modest museum in the Heckscher Building on November 9, 1929, nine days after the Wall Street Crash. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was the first museum of its kind to exhibit European modernism in Manhattan. Since its inception, MoMA has played a major role in the development and collection of modern art, and is viewed as one of the most influential modern art museums in the world.