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Lot # 1384 (of 1807)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Babe Ruth Children's Book Illustration - Original Painting by Jim Burke

Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $3,258.75

Original oil-on-board painting of Babe Ruth, titled The Babe 1914, by noted artist Jim Burke. Signed by the artist in the lower right. This painting is one in a series currently being created by author/illustrator Jim Burke for his upcoming children's book (yet untitled) on the history of baseball cards. Inspired by the 1914 Babe Ruth Baltimore News rookie card (an actual example of which is being offered in this auction), the painting pictures Ruth during his first season of professional ball as a member of Jack Dunn's Baltimore Orioles. Ruth is captured wearing his Baltimore team sweater as the cameraman stands in the background behind him preparing to take photos of Ruth and his teammates for use in the Baltimore News card set.

As is his trademark, Burke's attention to detail is extraordinary, and his unique style geared to children is also naturally amusing. Here, he has faithfully recreated a vintage Cracker Jack and D&M Sporting Goods advertisement on the outfield wall, which helps to instantly transport the viewer back in time to 1914. Most of our bidders are already familiar with Burke's baseball paintings, as a number of his artworks have appeared in both our 2010 and 2012 auctions, including, most famously, his oil-on-board painting of Honus Wagner posing in Carl Horner's studio for the photograph that was used on his T206 tobacco card (Lot 1316, May 2010, sold for $11,750).

Jim Burke is one of America's most celebrated children's book illustrators. His work is instantly recognizable and he has illustrated many popular modern children's classics, including the highly regarded All Star! - Honus Wagner and the Most Famous Baseball Card Ever, written by Jane Yolen (Philomel Books, New York, 2010). Jim Burke's artwork was shown in The Royal Academy of Art's Summer Exhibition 2008 in London, and in the Society of Illustrators' Icons & Images: 50 Years of Illustration. He is a Gold Medal recipient from the Society of Illustrators, has had five of his books honored at The Original Art Show (NYC) and is included in its Museum of American Illustration permanent collection. Burke taught at Pratt Institute and Syracuse University, and has lectured at The Norman Rockwell Museum, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and The National Baseball Hall of Fame, among others. He is currently the Illustration Chair at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. The painting (30 x 40 inches) is in Mint condition and has been beautifully framed to total dimensions of 31.75 x 42 inches. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $3,258.75

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