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Lot # 1385 (of 1807)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Jefferson Burdick Children's Book Illustration - Original Painting by Jim Burke

Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $1,185.00

Original oil-on-board painting of Jefferson Burdick, titled The J. R. Burdick Collection, 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. The extraordinary image captures Jefferson Burdick as he meticulously mounts his cards into albums at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where his collection is housed today.

As is his trademark, Burke's attention to detail in this painting is both extraordinary and amusing. The more one looks, the more one will find in his meticulous details, including tiny T206s that represent actual cards and even an American Card Catalog sitting on Burdick's desk. Jefferson Burdick's inclusion in Burke's upcoming book is well deserved. No history of baseball cards and collecting would be complete without chronicling Burdick's enormous contributions to the hobby. Burdick is universally recognized as the "Father of Card Collecting." His American Card Catalog was the first serious attempt to document and categorize cards for collectors. It was the American Card Catalog that assigned to such sets as T206 and R319 the catalog reference numbers still in use today. Burdick spent the last twenty years of his life organizing and mounting his vast collection in albums for permanent display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He died in 1963, just months after completing this lifelong project. His life's work is part of American folklore and his collection is among the most famous ones at the Met. 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 (18 x 23.5 inches) is in Mint condition and has been beautifully framed to total dimensions of 29 x 33 inches. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,185.00

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