Saturday, June 1, 2013

Drawing of the Day: George Cooke's Carl Hertz Caricature, 1905

Carl Hertz
George Cooke, 1905
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Here’s another delightful Edwardian Music Hall caricature by George Cooke. Dating to 1905, the drawing of pen and ink, and wash on paper depicts the performer Leib Morgenstern, when as he looked when performing at the Grand Theatre of Varieties, Hanley, during the week of January 9, 1905.  He's shown defeating the devil and holding up his watch to show the time of his triumph.

Of American-Jewish descent, Morgenstern was billed in the U.K., as “The Famous Carl Hertz” and performed a monumentally-scaled show of “Marvelous Illusions and Surprises.” At the time, the display was considered to be “the most elaborate and sensational conjuring show ever presented,” including animals, hand tricks, and other spectacles which required audience participation.

The caricature is part of the many albums of his drawings which Cooke amassed in the early Twentieth Century. 

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