This is a very rare drawing by the American artist, Katherine Langhorne Adams.
Adams was born in Plainfield, New Jersey. She studied at the Art Students League of New York and exhibited with artists from the Cos Cob colony in 1912 and 1913. Not much is known of her early life. She appears to have travelled extensively in her youth and in the 1930s was living in Buenos Aires.
In 1926, she married Benjamin Pettengill Adams and moved to New York. In the 1920s her work was featured in shows at three galleries in New York. At this time she was living at Sneden's Landing in New York's Palisades.
During her career she exhibited work at the Art Institue of Chicago, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Albright Art Gallery, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art; her art appeared in exhibits at the National Academy of Design, the Society of Independent Artists, and the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors, receiving the Marcia Tucker Prize from the last-named organization in 1935 and an honourable mention in 1936.
This is a very competent and unusual work by her - it is not signed but comes in its original frame with lots of information about the artist which has been pasted onto the back of the frame, as photographed.
The F.W. Woolworth Co. had the first five-and-dime stores, which sold discounted general merchandise at fixed prices, usually five or ten cents, undercutting the prices of other local merchants. Woolworth, as the stores popularly became known, was one of the first American retailers to put merchandise out for the shopping public to handle and select without the assistance of a sales clerk.
You can see clearly in this fine drawing ladies taking time to look at all the cards and pictures on display. There is a sign above them giving the location as being a Woolworth's store. The drawing must date to the early 1930s - as you can assign from the costume the ladies are wearing and also from the fact that in the spring of 1932 a 20-cent line of merchandise was added. On November 13, 1935, the company's directors decided to discontinue selling-price limits altogether. So this drawing must date to before this date.
This is a very lovely drawing and I think a rare one showing this imagery. The ladies are shopping for cards or decorative prints - and you can buy five of these wee sheets for 5 cents.
The study is an original artwork and is sketched using soft black chalk or crayon.
The drawing is framed and in excellent condition - more photographs can be sent on request to interested parties. Apologies for the number of reflections on any of the images - as the photos had to be done through the very reflective glass.
My asking price for this most unique and rare subject is certainly a very fair one - it would be of interest to chroniclers of early 20th-century American social history.