Monday, June 24, 2019

Alphabets: Photo-Lettering Inc. Catalogs

Photo-Lettering, Incorporated
216 East 45th Street / New York, NY 10017
Logo by Ed Benguiat

Photo-Lettering No. 1
Covers and selected pages

Photo-Lettering Three!
Covers and selected pages

June 1977

1977 Alphabet Yearbook
Cover and selected pages


Life With Letters as They Turned Photogenic
Edward Rondthaler
Hastings House, 1981

Monday, June 10, 2019

Monday, June 3, 2019

Creator: Alphonse Mucha in America, Part 2: 1910–1923

The 1910 New York City directory listing for Mucha was “Mucha Alfonso artist 55 E 56th”.


New York Herald
March 7, 1910

Painted Mr. Drew While Broken Bone Was Mending
… Miss Maude Adams, as painted by Mr. Mr. John W. Alexander, and Alfonse Mucha’s portrait of Miss Adams as Joan of Arc.

Literary Digest
May 14, 1910

Symbolism of the cover design.—The two figures in the design on our cover this week symbolize the contents of THE LITERARY DIGEST—journalism and literature. The former surveys and records the work of the world as it appears in workshop and commerce, which are represented in the background; while the other dreams with eyes closed, symbolizing literature, which occupies itself purely with internal inspiration. Together they comprehend the best in the world’s thought—the practical and the ideal. The design is the work of Mr. Alphonse Mucha.

Literary Digest
July 2 and October 29, 1910

Chicago Daily Tribune
November 16, 1910

Chicago as a Center of American Art.
4,000 Attend Design Classes.
In the school of art and design of the Art Institute the average attendance is over 4,000. These come virtually from all parts of the country. Alphonse Mucha, the painter, who recently visited Chicago, said he considered the school of art and design the most completely equipped institution of the kind in the world. …

New York Herald
July 9, 1911

Art for Country Club.
Artist members of the Douglaston Country Club, at Douglaston, L.I., are contributing paintings, pastels, etchings and sculptures for the exhibition and sale which will begin on July 22 at the home of the organization. Sixty names are on the list. Among the contributors are Mr. William Ordway Partridge, Mrs. Sally James Farnham, Mrs. C. A. Schubert, Miss Betty Peters, Messrs. Harrison Fisher, Philip de Bolleau, Clement King, Hamilton King, Raymond Hyde, Hermann Heyer, Wallace Morgan, Julius Fireman, Guiyle Hodgkins, E. V. Nadherney, W. G. Bonte, Richard Boham, John Hunt and Alphonse Mucha.

The exhibition will be attractive from a social as well as an artistic point of view, and well known members of the summer colony will be present.

Chicago Daily Tribune
February 11, 1912


Mucha departed from Antwerp, Belgium on February 1, 1913. The steamship Zeeland brought him to the port of New York on February 12. The passenger list said the Hotel Savoy was his final destination.


New York Press
January 5, 1913

Poetesses of Passion, Jewelers, Modistes Now Gamboling in Gotham Choruses
Others Design Jewelry and Write Scenarios.
Another who is just as serious is Miss Ruth Tomlinson, the pretty young woman who played the lead to Charles Hawtrey in “Dear Old Billy” and filled an engagement with Margaret Anglin in “Kindling.”

Miss Tomlinson has turned to designing and executing odd and interesting jewelry. There are several firms that are only too delighted to handle this work done by the young actress and obtain some of her designs. “When Alphonse Mucha, the Bohemian artist, was here and his designs in jewelry were so popular I began to be interested in the work,” said Miss Tomlinson, working at her table. …

Evening Star
(Washington, DC)
February 21, 1913

C. R. Crane of Chicago Footing Bills for Twenty Paintings for Prague, Bohemia.
New York, February 21.—Charles R. Crane of Chicago is footing the bills for twenty paintings of enormous size depicting the history of the Slavic race, which will be hung in a special building in the city of Prague, Bohemia, according to details of the scheme published here today.

M. Alfonse Mucha, a Slavic artist, is executing the monumental series of canvases in the grand ballroom of an old castle at Zbirow, Bohemia, although at present he is paying a short visit to this country to arrange further details for the completion of the series, and incidentally to paint a portrait of Mr. Crane’s daughter, Mrs. R. Leatherbee.

To Be Exhibited in United States.

The artist says the idea of the Slavic paintings he discussed casually with Mr. Crane at a dinner in this country some time ago when the wealthy Chicagoan became so enthusiastic over the idea that he told him to go ahead with it at his expense. There are to be twenty paintings in all, each measuring eighteen by twenty-four feet, all of which will be brought to the United States for exhibition before being permanently hung at Prague. The cost of the series is not made known.

Rock Island Argus
February 21, 1913

Crane Heirs Keep Estate Out of Court
New York, Feb. 21.—Charles R. Crane of Chicago is footing the bill for 20 paintings of enormous size depicting the history of the Slavic race which will be bung in a special building in the city of Prague, Bohemia, according to details of the scheme published here. M. Alfonse Mucha, a Slavic artist, is executing a monumental series of canvases in the grand ball room of an old castle at Zblrow, Bohemia, although at present he is paying a short
visit to this country to arrange further details for completion of the series and incidentally to paint the portrait of Mr. Crane’s daughter, Mrs. R,

Minnesotské Noviny
(St. Paul, Minnesota)
March 13, 1913


The American Printer
April 5, 1918
Moss Photo Engraving advertisement appeared in several issues. The artwork may be the work of Mucha.


On November 13, 1919, Mucha, his wife Marie, daughter Jaroslava, and son George, were aboard the steamship La Savoie. The ship departed Le Havre and arrived in New York on November 22. 


New York Tribune
November 23, 1919

Alfonse Mucha, the Bohemian mural painter, who lived in Prague throughout the European war returned on the Savoie, accompanied by his wife and son. He said he and his family were overjoyed to return to America and meet their American friends. Throughout the war, he said, he was constantly under suspicion of the Austrian military authorities. He brought with him twenty mural paintings 18 ft. x 24 ft. in size.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
(New York)
December 7, 1919

Artist to Promote Good Feeling Here for Czechoslovakia
Alphonse Mucha, Bohemian Portrait Painter, Denies Reported Massacres in New Republic.

The 1920 United States Federal Census was enumerated in mid-January. Mucha, his wife, two children and a servant resided at 15 West 67th Street in Manhattan. One of his neighbors was illustrator Penrhyn Stanslaw


The Mucha Foundation has a timeline but it does not mention his stay in New York in 1913 and from 1919 into the early 1920s.

New York Evening Telegram
February 21, 1920

Notable Exhibition at Pratt Art Gallery
An exhibit of ancient Bohemian and Slovak embroideries and laces will be open to the public for the next few weeks at the Webster Branch of the New York Public Library, at avenue A between Seventy-seventh and Seventy-eighth streets. It was arranged by the librarian, Miss Griffin, and her assistant, Mrs. Matulkar, of the Czecho-Slovak department, through the courtesies of Mr. and Mrs. Alfonse Mucha, Mr. and Mrs. Karel Leitner, Mr. and Mrs. J. Kratina and F. Sperakus. Altogether about 100 pieces are shown.

The chief items are pieces of needlework and beaded motifs on table coverings collected by the curator of the art museum of Pilsen and sold to Mr. Mucha, the Bohemian artist. Coustumes [sic] designed by Mrs. Kratina, based on Bohemian and Slovak national dresses, are also on view. Many toys, the work of Mr. Sperakua, are shown.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
(New York)
April 9, 1920

3,627 at Art Exhibit.
Official figures of the attendance at the opening of the Exhibition of the National Academy of Design at the Brooklyn Museum were made public today by William H. Fox, director. There were 3,627 persons at the Museum on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Museum record, and of that number 280 represented the artists who were over in the morning for varnishing. A part of that 280 remained over for the afternoon and are to be included in the total attendance.

… A number of distinguished foreign artists were present at the opening of the exhibition on Tuesday afternoon, including Andre Dauchess of Paris and Julius Olson of London, who are the foreign members of the jury judging the International exhibition, at the Carnegie Institute at Pittsburg; Alphonse Mucha, the Bohemian artist; Boris Anisfeld of Russia and Jose Pinazo of Spain.

Chicago Daily Tribune
April 20, 1920

Charles R. Cranes Here for a Day; Tea for Them at Cordon
A tea will be given this afternoon at the Cordon, from 4 to 6 o’clock, for Mr. and Mrs. Charles R. Crane, who leave tomorrow for China where Mr. Crane is to take up the duties of American minister.

Especial guests at the tea also will be Mr. and Mrs. Alphonse Mucha of Prague, who are now at the Blackstone. …

The presence of Mr. Crane and Mr. Mucha here together brings to attention the great mural paintings which the Prague artist has completed at Mr. Crane’s commission. The murals each represent one significant point in the history of the Slavs and Mr. Crane has aranged [sic] to make a gift of the entire group to the Slavic people, housing them permanently in Prague as the city where they will be most available to the view of the Slavic people.

Mr. Mucha, as a matter of fact, concluded the work during the war and in conjunction with Mr. Crane had the paintings encased and ready to be placed under ground in case the war’s ravages should have reached Prague.

Mr. Mucha has brought some of the paintings to America for exhibition and they will be shown later in the Art Institute.

Chicago Daily Tribune
April 21, 1920

China on Road to Real Progress, C. R. Cranes Says
… He and Mrs. Crane were guests at the Cordon club yesterday. The other guests were Mr. and Mrs. Alphonse Mucha of Prague. Mr. Mucha is the world famed painter. The reception was largely attended.

Chicago Daily Tribune
June 18, 1920

$500,000 Paintings to Be Given to Prague on Exhibition Here
Five historical, paintings, valued at $500,000, are to be given to the city of Prague, Bohemia, by Charles R. Crane, minister to China, and the painter, Alphonse Mucha.

The paintings, murals, were unveiled yesterday at the Art institute, and are on display on the north and south walls of the grand staircase. They will be on exhibition for about a month.

They are part of a group of twenty—all to be given to Prague. The artist has completed six others. He began work on them in 1911.

The five represent “The Festival of Svantovitova,” “The Freedom of the Russian Serfs,” “John Huss Preaching at Bethlehem Chapel,” “Milio Standing on the Ruins of Wickedness,” and “The Preacher Korand.”

Three of the canvases are 25 x 18 feet and the others 18 x 18. It was necessary to remove a window and casing to get them into the building and it required twenty-five men to move them into place after part of the walls had been chiseled away to make room.

Mucha has been recognized for a number of years as one of the foremost mural painters of the world. In 1904 he attracted wide attention with his poster of Sarah Bernhardt in the character of Gismonda. He came to America in 1905 and taught at the institute. In 1908 he delivered the Scammon lectures in Fullerton hall.

He will arrive in Chicago tomorrow and will hold a reception at the institute.

Chicago Daily Tribune
June 19, 1920

Dinner Given for Mucha.
A dinner in honor of Alphonse Mucha, Bohemian painter, whose murals are on exhibition at the Art institute, was given last night by the Rt. Rev. Mardary Uskokovich, administrator of the Serbian Orthodox church in America. Among the guests were Mr. and Mrs. L. Hamilton McCormick and Mrs. Archibald Freer. Mr. Mucha has donated several of his paintings to the relief of the orphans of Serbia, for which Father Mardary is organizing a committee of Chicagoans.

Chicago Sunday Tribune
June 27, 1920

Group of Mucha’s Mural Paintings Typifies Excellence
It seems but a minute since I last entered the Art institute some months ago, yet I realized that time has passed when I found that the exhibitions which the galleries had haunted in March had given place to Gothic tapestries, the work of the art students, and the five beautiful mural paintings by Alphonse Mucha. These last deserve fresh mention in this column. They form part of a series of twenty mural decorations, depicting incidents in the history of the Slavic race, to be presented to the city of Prague by Charles R. Crane and the artist.

Possibly because it is the simplest in composition “Korand Addressing the Converted Patriots” is the most directly impressive of the paintings. The figure of the orator alone on the scaffolding, tense against the sky, his only companion on that aerial perch the flags of the country, is magnificent in its effect of isolated power. Below him is the crowd, a scattered handful of pale faces thrown into relief by the paler stretches of snow covered country in the background. Much more telling is this than the companion mural depicting the crowded church where another speaker is holding forth to a mass of intent auditors.

But, though one may thus choose a single scene in personal preference to the others, yet so remarkable are the five considered together that it is difficult to handle them in criticism in any but group form. Taking them as a whole, one can say frankly that they typify excellence in composition, in drawing——a point not always true when such vast subjects are considered—in color harmony, in vitality, and in sincere exposition of a tragic history.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
(New York)
January 9, 1921

Art Notes.
On Wednesday, Jan. 19, the Brooklyn Museum will open to the public its exhibition of five colossal mural paintings by Mr. Alphonse Mucha representing episodes in the history of the Slavic nations. This opening will be preceded by the usual first view on the afternoon of Tuesday, the 18th. …

Bulletin of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences
January 15, 1921

On Wednesday, January 19, the Brooklyn Museum will open to the public its exhibition of five colossal mural paintings by Mr. Alphonse Mucha, representing episodes in the history of the Slavic nations. The installation completely fills the great central rotunda of the Museum third floor picture galleries. …

Brooklyn Life
(New York)
January 15, 1921
Art Exhibitions
January 18 (Tues.).—First view of exhibition of five colossal mural paintings by Mr. Alphonse Mucha, Brooklyn Museum

The New York Times Book Review and Magazine
January 16, 1921

The World of Art: Alphonse Mucha’s Mural Decorations
The Brooklyn Museum announces another exhibition of distinction. Five panels by Alphonse Mucha commemorating certain historic moments in the development of the Slavonic nations have been placed on view in the central rotunda on the third floor of the museum. The panels belong to a series not yet completed, designed for the City of Prague and to be the joint gift of the artist and his friend, Charles. R. Crane. …

Brooklyn Museum’s 1921 exhibition of Mucha’s work.

Historical Paintings of the Slavic Nations
The Brooklyn Museum, 1921

Brooklyn Life
(New York)
January 22, 1921

Art Exhibitions
January 22–31 (Sat.–Mon.).—Exhibition of five colossal mural paintings by Mr. Alphonse Mucha, Brooklyn Museum

Private View of Mucha Exhibition
The exhibition of five colossal mural paintings by Mr. Alphonse Mucha representing episodes in the history of the Slavic nations, was opened to the public at the Brooklyn Museum on Wednesday of this week, but the usual first view was enjoyed by many persons of prominence on Tuesday afternoon. In addition to the murals the exhibition includes posters by this famous artist, the most striking being the series representing the various roles of Mme. Sarah Bernhardt. There are also about 17 oil paintings of ideal subjects and a bronze bust of the artist by Miss Eugenie Shonnard of New York. …

New York Tribune
January 23, 1921

Alphonse Mucha
His Historical Paintings of the Slavic Nations

Hackettstown Gazette
(New Jersey)
June 24, 1921

Fine Piece of Engraving
Bank Notes Made in America for Czecho-Slovakian Government Real Work of Art.
A new Czecho-Slovak 100-crown note is just off the press of the American Bank Note company and is said by American critics to be the most artistic piece of work ever done by the company for any foreign government. The face of the note contains at the left a conventional design with the figures “100” on either side of the heraldic Bohemian lion rampant. At the right is a symbolic female figure representative of the western Slavs, with a decorative background made up of linden leaves together with typical peasant ornaments of the Czechs and Slovaks.

The reverse side is symmetrically balanced, the center being a splendid engraving of the famous Charles bridge of Prague, with the thousand-year-old castle of Hradcany and the carved spires of the Cathedral of St. Guy looming in the far perspective. At either side is a typical Czech or Slovak peasant girl in the folk costume.

The paintings used for the engraving are the work of Alphonse Mucha. Czechoslovakia’s most renowned living artist, whose huge canvases, representing the growth and development of the Slav nations have been exhibited in America.

New York Tribune
August 7, 1921

The Plaza Theater is being remodelled so that the seating capacity will be doubled, but Harry Creighton Ingalls, the architect, insisted that the decorations by Alphonse Mucha should not be disturbed. As the former stage has been converted into seating space the Muha [sic] pictures now occupy the center of the auditorium.

Christian Science Monitor
(Boston, Massachusetts)
February 15, 1923

Chicago Notes
And as if the stage was set for international recognition, the paintings and drawings by Alphonse Mucha at the Newcomb & Macklin Galleries add to the riches of our survey. This is the final appearance of Mr. Mucha previous to his going to Prague to finish his historical paintings of the Slavic nations. Five and more of these great canvases were here in 1920. Mr. Mucha’s recent museum examples illustrating Slavic legends are canvases in oils portraying ideal figures of young women in an art of which he is a master. He delights in invention.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
(New York)
November 18, 1928

American Gives Czechs Slav History Paintings
Prague (AP)—Charles R. Crane, millionaire and formerly American Minister in China, has paid $250,000 for 25 mural paintings illustrating the evolution of Slav history. These masterpieces, the work of the famous Czechoslovak artist Alphonse Mucha, will be placed in a permanent museum and presented by Mr. Crane as a gift to the Czech nation.

It took the veteran artist 20 years to complete this gigantic work.

Long before the World War, when Czechoslovakia was an Austrian province, Mr. Crane, whose daughter married the son of President Masaryk, supplied the funds for the execution of this work, which depicts vividly all the characteristic episodes of the Slav countries, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Poland, Jugoslavia, Montenegro, Poland and Bulgaria.

Further Reading and Viewing
Pokrok Západu (Omaha, Nebraska), Alfons M. Mucha and Alfonse Mucha
Minnesotské Noviny (St. Paul, Minnesota)
Art Institute Chicago
Combinaisons Ornementales
Illustration: Alphonse Mucha
Internet Archive
Mucha Foundation

Related Post

Alphonse Mucha in America, Part 1

(Next post on Monday: East River Savings Bank)