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N. C. Wyeth (1882-1945)
"For a mile, or thereabouts, my raft went very well--"
1920
Oil on canvas, 40 3/4 x 30 1/4 in. (103.5 x 76.8 cm)
Private collection

NCW NUMBER
271
TITLE
"For a mile, or thereabouts, my raft went very well--"
ALTERNATE TITLE(S)
Robinson Crusoe Sails around his Island
MEDIUM
Oil on canvas
INSCRIPTION(S), LABEL(S)
lower left: N. C. WYETH (underlined)
SUBJECT
illustration
DATE
1920
PROVENANCE
The artist to 1923; The Wilmington Institute Library, Wilmington, Delaware, 1923-2009; (Christie's, New York, NY, Dec. 2, 2009, lot no. 128);
EXHIBITION HISTORY
Wilmington, DE, 1921, no. 64, as "Robinson Crusoe Sails around his Island"; poss. Boston, MA, Boston Public Library, April 1923; Chadds Ford, PA, 1976(1); Chadds Ford, PA, 1978; Wilmington, DE, 1981; Chadds Ford, PA, 1985
INITIAL USE
Frontispiece illustration in color, Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (New York: Cosmopolitan Book Corp., 1920)
REFERENCES
Sir Evelyn Wrench, "The British Way," National Geographic Magazine, vol. XCV, no. 4 (April 1949), illus. p. 481; Douglas Allen and Douglas Allen, Jr., N. C. Wyeth, The Collected Paintings, Illustrations and Murals (New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1972), p. 203; Bruce Selcraig, "The Real Robinson Crusoe" Smithsonian, vol. 36, no. 4 (July 2005), color illustration (cropped) p. 82Christine B. Podmaniczky, N. C. Wyeth, A Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings (London: Scala, 2008), I.812, p. 403
CURATORIAL COMMENT
A private collector holds a mock-up of the book, designed for salesmen to show prospective buyers prior to publication. Only the frontispiece, the title page picture, the cover illustration, and the endsheets were included in the mock-up, along with a page of text and advertising material. The Wilmington Institute Library holds letters to and from the artist regarding the purchase of the Robinson Crusoe paintings. In October, 1921, the Library trustees offered the artist $2,000 for 12 paintings, which were paid for when the paintings were installed in the Children's Room of the new building at 10th and Market Streets in early May 1923 (see letters between NCW and Arthur L. Bailey, Oct. 26, 1921 through May 9, 1923, collection of Wilmington Institute Library).
IMAGE SOURCE
Transparency directly from painting
PHOTO CREDIT
Rick Echelmeyer, Dec. 1999