Spring 2022 Catalogue

New Acquisitions Spring 2022 – 27 – Bauman Rare Books Extraordinary Self-Portrait Caricature Drawn And Inscribed By Katharine Hepburn To The Associate Director Of The American Shakespeare Theatre 31. HEPBURN, Katharine. Self-portrait inscribed. FRAMED WITH: Typed letter signed. FRAMED WITH: Publicity photo. Stratford, Connecticut, Likely Old Saybrook, Connecticut, no place, 1957, 1970, circa 1990. Matted and framed, entire piece measures 32-1/2 by 16-1/4 inches. $13,500. Most exceptional caricature-style self-portrait skillfully accomplished by Katharine Hepburn and inscribed “Landau” in the margin to the associate director of the American Shakespeare Theatre and additionally inscribed on the mat by Hepburn: “Jack from His Portia”; framed with a boldly signed typed presentation letter from Hepburn to the purchaser—presumably at a charity auction—of the caricature and a publicity photograph fromHepburn’s later years. Accomplished in pencil, ink, watercolor, and crayon on textured paper, this caricature-style self-portrait by Katharine Hepburn depicts her in the role of Portia from “The Merchant of Venice.” In the upper marginal corner of the self-portrait, Hepburn has written the word “Landau.” On the original mat, she has drawn a four-leaf clover or flower and inscribed it: “Jack from His Portia.” Jack Landau served as associate director of the independent theater company, American Shakespeare Theatre (AST), in Stratford, Connecticut from 1956 to 1959. Hepburn was one of the first major stars to perform at the AST following its 1955 opening. Hepburn portrayed Portia during a July 10 to August 3, 1957 run of “The Merchant of Venice.” Few Hepburn caricatures exist and those were dedicated to people with whomHepburn worked in film or theater: fellow actors, wardrobe mistresses, and directors. These caricatures are often starkly honest and unflattering. Sadly, Jack Landau, the recipient of this caricature, was murdered during a robbery in 1967. The accompanying typed letter on Hepburn’s personal letterhead addressed to Earl Fagerstrom Esq. of Hartford, Connecticut reads in full: “VI - 3 - 1970. Dear Mr. Fagerstrom, That is a caricature which I gave Jack Landau when I worked with him at Stratford Connecticut [handwritten annotation: “—1960”]—I hope you had to pay a lot for it—I am keeping one photograph—if I may—[signed] Katharine Hepburn.” The letter appears to suggest that Fagerstrom bought it in a charity auction, hence Hepburn’s hope that he overpaid. Her attempt to guess the date of her work with Jack Landau is evidently incorrect as her performance as Portia took place in 1957. The letter is accompanied by the original mailing envelope. While the identity of Fagerstrom is unknown, he was a fellow Connecticut resident (Hepburn maintained a home in Old Saybrook for her entire life) and undoubtedly familiar with the AST. Shallow chip to top edge of frame. Photo fine, light foxing to caricature, and letter fine with only slight soiling to envelope. Near-fine condition.