Samuel Johnson Woolf

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Samuel Johnson Woolf
Portrait of John Dewey
Charcoal heightened with white gouache on paper.
23 3/4 x 19 3/4 inches (602 x 502 mm)
Gift of Stuart P. and Sue K. Feld.

Signed and inscribed at lower right, John Dewey/S.J. Woolf/OCT. 1939

Mr. and Mrs. Stuart P. Feld.

A student of the National Academy of Design and the Art Student's League, Samuel Johnson Woolf was a prolific artist, illustrator, and journalist. He began his career as a portrait painter working in oil before switching to charcoal illustration and lithography, often producing cover art for Time Magazine. Best known for his work as a staff writer at the New York Times, the multi-talented artist wrote about and drew over 400 subjects, simultaneously sketching and interviewing his sitters, who included George Bernard Shaw, Benito Mussolini, and Charles Lindbergh. The portrait of John Dewey (Burlington, Vermont 1859 - 1952 New York), a professor, educational reformer and co-founder of the philosophical school of "pragmatism", was published in the New York Times Magazine on October 15, 1939, and was accompanied by Woolf's article on the famed American. The portrait is a significant example of Woolf's unique form of journalism, and demonstrates the artist's accomplished draftsmanship.

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