This is one a second batch of watercolor drawings I've purchased by Dr. Arthur Tilo Alt (1931-2019)--a scholar and professor of German in Yiddish language and literature in the Judaic studies program at Duke University--which came from his estate in Younsgsville, NC. Born in Java, Indonesia, Alt's family returned to their native Germany in 1933, where Tilo grew up in West Berlin, ultimately moving to the U.S. in 1956 to study at the University of Texas. While I have not done extensive research, all indications are that Alt (Jewish, I assume) lived in Berlin during WWII, which is the period during which these drawings would have been made--making these poignant drawings seem all the more so, and also like significant historical documents.
And what a beautiful drawing, with one wonderful detail after an other, from the drivers carefully rendered in profile, to the flower-like wheels of the truck, to this fantastic hose being held up overhead like a lollipop, and colorful row of houses or shops in the background. I could look at this all day.
11" x 8 1/4". Pencil and watercolor on natural colored construction paper. A little unevenness and a couple of clean tears along the right side, but overall good condition. Signed at bottom left and I believe that what appears to be a "3J" at bottom right likely refers to his Alt's class in school.
Arthur Tilo Alt. Education: Doctor of Philosophy, University Texas, 1964; diploma Yiddish Language & Literature, Columbia University, 1974.
Career: Instructor, Duke U., Durham, North Carolina, 1961-1965; assistant professor, Duke U., Durham, 1967-1977; associate professor, Duke U., Durham, 1978-1988; professor German and Judaic studies, Duke U., Durham, since 1989; assistant professor, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts, 1965-1967. Visiting assistant professor Columbia University, New York City, summers 1967-1968