Herbert Crowley : He Liked to Sing?
by Dan Nadel
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
A received an email this morning from a nice fellow named Max Mose, who discovered this tidbit about Herbert Crowley (“famous” for The Wigglemuch, as featured in Art Out of Time) in
Popular Prints of the Americas (A. Hyatt Mayor, Crown Publishers, 1973), which reads: “Crowley was born near London in 1873. Though he studied singing in Paris, he could never bring himself to face an audience. Then, while working in a mine, he discovered that he could draw. His late-found career took him eventually to the New York Herald, where he drew the Wigglemuch from about 1910 to 1914. In his solitary imagination, this creature with no legs on its far side became more actual than anybody he met on the street. Crowley could tell you exactly when it slept, what it did and did not eat, how it laughed, and that it whistled like you or me.” Well, this is all news to me! The actual dates of the run are off, but the rest of it… who knows? Sounds like the kind of thing an artist might write about himself. I know that he had some shows of his artwork on 57th St. in NYC in the 20s… and that the Met has some works on paper of his in storage that I have, to my shame, not gone to request, but beyond that, well, I cast wide nets, but don’t tend to dig deep holes. But in this case I should. Thanks, Max!