James Sturm's been working on rediscovering Denys Wortman, an early 20th century cartoonist, and is doing a book on him with Drawn & Quarterly. A few articles have been appearing about the exhibit on Wortman that's in New York-
Cartoonist's Depression-Era NYC Drawings Featured in East Harlem Exhibit; The works of cartoonist Denys Wortman will be on display at the Museum of the City of New York through March 20.
By Della Hasselle
DNAinfo Reporter/Producer, November 19, 2010
Gotham Chronicle: Sharp Eye, and Pencil
By CAROL KINO
New York Times November 21, 2010
-and Allen Holtz put a nice early article online -
All N.Y. Poses For Wortman's Cartoons
Straphangers in the Subway and Flappers at Soda Fountains Are Unsuspecting
Models for New York World Artist Who Blends Comedy With Grim Reality in
"Metropolitan Movies" for N.Y. World
by John F. Roche (E&P, 3/23/29)
-tonight I was on the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art site and put in Wortman's name - and they have a collection of his papers (note the untranscribed interview)-
Wortman, Denys, b. 1887 d. 1958
New York, N.Y., Mass.
Cartoonist, New York, New York. Born in Saugerties, New York, Wortman studied engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology and at Rutgers College. From 1906-1909, he studied at the Chase School of Art in New York City with Kenneth Hayes Miller and classmates George Bellows, Edward Hopper, and Rockwell Kent. Beginning as a landscape painter from the "Gloucester School," Wortman's career changed when his drawings of life as a sailor in World War I were published in the New York Tribune. From 1924-1954, his daily cartoons "Metropolitan Movies" and "Mopey Dick and the Duke" mirrored New York life in the New York World-Tribune.
Denys Wortman papers, 1887-1980
2.0 linear ft. (partially microfilmed on 1 reel)
Biographical material, letters, business records, notes, writings, art work, photographs, printed material; and an untranscribed interview.
REEL 3014: Thirty-five letters to Wortman from friends and colleagues (1910-1957), including Gifford Beal, James Cagney, Stuart Davis, Guy Pene Du Bois, Juliet and Pier Hamilton, Edward and Jo Hopper, Kenneth Hayes Miller, Herbert Satterlee, John Sloan, Austin Strong, Frank Sullivan, William Sulzer, Gluyas Williams, and Mahonri Young.
UNMICROFILMED: Biographical accounts and a certificate of marriage between Wortman and his first wife Aimée Kempe (1913); letters to Wortman (1911-1958) and to his second wife Hilda (1958-1980), some illustrated, from his mother, his brother Elbert, newspaper publishers, and colleagues including Peggy Bacon, Roy Baker, George G. Barnard, Gifford Beal, Ruth Benedict, Isabel Bishop, Charlton Bolles, Arthur Brown, E. Button, Stuart Campbell, Edward C. Caswell, Thomas Cole, Nathaniel Collier, Worth Colwell, Fred Cooper, Raymond M. Crosby, Benjamin Dale, Bob Davis, John Dawson, Ed De Cossey, Steven Dohanos, Max and Eliena Eastman, Pat Enright, W. D. Faulkner, Robert Fawcett, Max Fleischer, Juliana Force, Lora B. Fox, Fred Freeman, James Freeman, Alfred Frueh, Murray Harris, Jim Herbert, R. John Holmgren, Ellison Hoover, Will B. Johnstone, H. J. Kauffer, J. Graham Kaye, Clarence B. Kelland,Walter Klett, Gene Lockhart, Arthur Mann, Frank J. Marshall, Jim McKenna,Helen Miller, Gladys Mock, Feg Murray, Frank Netter, William Oberhardt, Lloyd Parsons, Audrey Parsons, Garrett and Florence Price, Raymond Prohaska, George Raab, Samuel Raab, Jack Ratcliff, Norman Rothschild, Harry Salpeter, Albert Sterner,
Jack Van Ryder, Leroy Ward, Mahonri Young, Carl Zigrosser, William Zorach, and Thomas Benton's wife Rita; legal material, including contracts with newspapers and publishers (1925-1938), client lists (1935-1954), and a lease (1924); financial records, including check stubs (1921-1922), an expense book (1923), and receipts (1923-1952); notes and writings, including membership lists for the Dexter Fellows Tent Circus Saints and Sinners Club of America and the Artists and Writers Golf Association; word puzzles and mathematical formulae; scripts "I Know What I Like" by Arthur William Brown and Phil Broughton and "Taxi,-Lady?" by William and Vivian Place, a notebook (1927), and a diary (1918) of Aimée Kempe Wortman; interviews, including a transcript of Wortman, Charles I. Stewart, and Johanna Harris discussing "Art Under a Democracy," and an untranscribed interview of Wortman conducted by Thomas Craven, ca. 1952; and art work, including 25 drawings and a a print by Wortman (undated and 1919), and drawings by Francis Hackett and William Zorach.
Also included are clippings (1903-1978), exhibition catalogs (1935-1953), programs (1938-1951), and printed material concerning The Players (1938) and the Society of Illustrators (1901-1939); photographs (1887-1956) of Wortman, his family, and colleagues, including Harry Beckhoff, Alexander Brook, Clarence Brown, Glenn O. Coleman, Fred Cooper, Thomas Craven, Rudy Dirks, Steven Dohanos, Max and Eliena Eastman, Duncan Ferguson, Stefan Hirsch, Will B. Johnstone, Frank Kidder, Richard Lahey, Robert Laurent, Joseph Lilly, Esther Merrill, Wallace Morgan, Willard Mullin, Garrett and Florence Price, Otto Soglow, Marguerite Zorach, and Thomas Hart Benton, sports cartoonist Feg Murray (3) with film celebrities Joan Crawford, Marion Davies, and Jean Harlow, works of art, stage productions by members of the Society of American Illustrators and a gathering at the Grand Central Galleries of modern artists including Peggy Bacon, Dorothy Varian, Max Weber, and William Zorach.
Location of Originals: Reel 3014: Originals returned to the lender, Hilda R. Wortman, after microfilming.
Material on reel 3014 lent from microfilming by Hilda Wortman, Wortman's widow. She donated the unmicrofilmed material 1979-1983. Craven interview tape donated 1981 by Denys Wortman Jr.