1939 Hand-painted Chalkware Portrait of Will Rogers by Artist August Mack

Regular price $115.00

Quite a thing, to which the chalkware bull i just listed might make just the right companion (!), and which itself, a posthumous portrait of Will Rogers by Indiana artist August Mack, represents the convergence of two quite singular individuals, born the same year. (This piece came from a notable folk/outsider art collection, different from where i found the bull!)

Rogers (1879-1935) gained acclaim as a trick roper and vaudeville actor, and went on to become a movie and radio star, newspaper columnist, aviation advocate, and beloved folksy American icon. German born August Mack (1879-1947) was an eccentric artist whose display of sculptures around his home in Indiana became a destination in the late 1930s. Most notable was his creation, "the Brazen Serpent," a 21 foot long motorized snake that included 362 carved wood ribs and 4000 metal scales, which was displayed alongside carved sculptures of celebrities (i.e. Shirley Temple), elves, etc.  Mack went on to create many sculptures for Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana, including its first Santa Claus!

So, quite a thing this one, made in 1939--a few years after Rogers died unexpectedly in a plane crash, and not long after Mack had realized his longstanding vision for the serpent. I especially like how Rogers' very blue eyes seem to follow one around wherever one goes. Truly a special piece of Americana!

7 5/8 x 6 1/4 w x 7/8” d and in good vintage condition, with a little paint loss as evident and a few minor edge chips. With a hanging loop at top.