George Grosz (1893-1959)
signed 'Grosz' (lower right); with Nachlass stamp (on the reverse)
brush and pen and India ink over pencil on paper
23 5/8 x 18 1/8 in. (60.3 x 45.9 cm.)
Drawn in 1932
Estate of the artist.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.

Lot Essay

Ralph Jentsch has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

Grosz witnessed firsthand the 1932 U.S. Presidential election, as he had taken a temporary teaching position that year at the New York Art Students League. The present work depicts Herbert Hoover, who took office in 1929, the year the American economy plummeted into the Great Depression. Hoover lost the election of 1932, mostly on account of his being blamed for the depressed economy. In fact, he had largely inherited the teetering economic situation from his predecessor, Calvin Coolidge. Grosz here depicts Hoover as a bust, an artefact of history to be placed up on a dusty shelf. The pickle over his head may be a reference to Coolidge, who was described as a dour personality who often looked “as though he had been weaned on a pickle.”

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