Writers in Wax

The following is an excerpt of the letter above, which I recently found in a collection of papers.

December 3rd, 1927

Dear Mr. Adams,

I am enclosing herewith a set of photographs which I feel sure will interest you. They are of statuettes of our authors which were made for us by Mr. Luis Hidalgo, the young Mexican caricaturist, who is creating quite a sensation at the present time — you may have seen some of his work in VANITY FAIR, and Rehn’s is holding an exhibition of his figures.

These statuettes, made of wax and standing on average of twelve inches high, have captured perfectly the predominant characteristics of each of the authors. With a background especially designed for them by Mr. Alexander King, they will be placed on display — for the first time anywhere  — in Brentano’s 47th Street store, starting December 17th.

Sincerely yours,

Donald S. Friede

I have not found much about Luis Hildago other than his association with VANITY FAIR and a romance with the writer Katherine Anne Porter. Alexander King was an author and cartoonist (and a guest on the Jack Paar Tonight Show).

(George Washington father of our country’s graphic design here.)

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Good point, Jason. Today, cartoons and celebrities were created in wax figures. Maybe it’s because back then in the 1920s, writers were the most respectable, famous people to talk about. TV was introduced a little later but not quite popular yet. So both times were quite a lot different.

  2. These are great! Such character and expression in a tiny figurine! Anita is great, to me she seems like a skeptical reporter. What is the typeface used in the letterhead? I really would love to have a letter like this one with my memorabilia. Donald’s signature is great. Thanks for sharing Steve!

  3. It’s hard to imagine a time when writers were so celebrated that wax figures were made about them … it seems to me that most people today can’t even name more than three or four authors.