Lot 186: WESLEY RAYMOND DE LAPPE (1887-1952). MECHANICS' FAIR / SAN FRANCISCO. 1913. 30x20 inches, 76x50 cm. Allied Printing, San Francisco.

Swann Auction Galleries

October 27, 2016, 1:30 PM EST
New York, NY, US
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Description: WESLEY RAYMOND DE LAPPE (1887-1952) MECHANICS' FAIR / SAN FRANCISCO. 1913.
30 1/4x20 inches, 76 3/4x50 3/4 cm. Allied Printing, San Francisco.
Condition B+: repaired tears in margins; water stain in upper right margin; minor creases and abrasions in image.
Founded in 1854 as a means to both provide vocational training to failed gold prospectors returning to the city, and to help the city itself become more independent and pull itself out of an economic slump, the Mechanics Institute began hosting yearly fairs in 1857. For the 1913 fair, De Lappe, acommercial artist, illustrator and caricaturist, chose to feature the Mechanic Monument in his promotional design. The statue, designed by Douglas Tilden, was erected in 1901 and survived the earthquake in 1906. The San Francisco Call, on July 28, 1913, describes the poster as follows: "Thegroup [of men on the statue] has been approached by the artist from a southeasterly angle, throwing into bold relief the figures of the old men and of the man with upraised hand, waiting to signal. In the background is the ferry tower on one side and on the other the smoke of factory chimneys, typifying the commerce of the sea and the industrial activities of the community.' In spite of the abundance of Mechanics Institutes being set up in cities around the country, this is one of the few events that actually engendered a poster. rare.
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