"Coon Alley" by J. Alden Weir
Drypoint, ca. 1885-94, Z. 82, N. 86, state 6th (final) state, original Ed. unknown, 1927 Ed. 25 plus proofs, 5-1/4 x 3-7/8, signed with monogram in the plate lower left, on cream laid paper, slightest stain top margin edges from old dry masking tape hinges recto. An unsigned proof printed by Weir's daughter Caro Weir Ely, outside the edition of 25 signed & numbered in pencil by her in 1927, and exhibited the same year at Keppel & Co. in New York City. The unfortunate title of this print today rings as racist, and though I cringe when hearing it, Weir was obviously engaged enough by this humble New York City alley to see a rustic beauty there and to rework the plate through six states before being satisfied. Unfortunate title aside, there is something of Charles Meryon in the emotional tenor here, as well as the formal placement of compositional elements.