Helen Malta Pencil Sketch of Woman Feeding Birds, 1930s

Sale price $35.00 Regular price $80.00

This drawing takes me straight to a park in New York, sitting on a bench and watching this woman who has surely made a daily habit of coming to feed these birds. While notes on the drawing ("red and blue dots" written on the woman's shoulder, and "brilliant blue and green birds" at bottom right) suggest that this was a quick sketch in advance of a more finished drawings, I think the looseness and lack of color, combined with the way her hair falls almost like a shroud, feeds a sense of holiness, almost--I think she seems a bit like the female incarnation of St. Francis!

This drawing (along with several others I've had int he shop) came from a sketchbook of drawings by Helen Malta from the 1930s or so, while she was  teaching at the Harlem Art Center and working at the New York branch of the WPA graphics division. Malta's work, which also included paintings and prints, is found in collections including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the National Gallery.

9" x 12".  Signed lower center-left. Very good condition.