Dudley Ward Figurative Painting - A Dingbat Race
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Dudley Ward
A Dingbat Race



Dating to 1908, this whimsical and spirited watercolor painting is the work of the English-Canadian illustrator Dudley Ward. A "Dingbat" comic character attempts to escape a frog tethered to a lily pad as a pair of scientifically minded timekeepers tally how fast the poor fellow can run. After moving to Canada in 1910, Ward was hired to create advertising calendars for the pharmaceutical company Charles E. Frosst, which featured variations on these little gnome-like fantasy figures, showing them employed busily performing medical care on other bizarre creatures. The imagery was so appealing the company continued publishing Dingbat calendars for 81 years with a succession of different artists. Health professionals all across Canada received a calendar annual which featured the healing efforts of The Dingbats. In recent years the company was taken over by a major American manufacture to become Merck-Frosst. This painting was executed several years before the first published calendar appeared - the eventual published Dingbat characters are closely modeled on the figures seen here. The painting is reminiscent of the watercolor work of Heinrich Kley, the German artist known for his inventive imagery combining surrealism and comic humor in depictions of anthropomorphized animals and phantasms. Painting is in a nice state of conservation with some minor toning and light scattered soiling to the unpainted areas of the illustration board, nicely matted and framed under glass. Sight Size 10 1/4" x 14 1/2" Framed 19 1/2" X 23 1/2"


  • Artist
    Dudley Ward (1879 - 1935, Canadian)
  • Creation Year
  • Condition
  • Dimensions
    H 23.5 in. x W 19.5 in.H 59.69 cm x W 49.53 cm
  • Gallery Location
    Minneapolis, MN
  • Reference Number
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About the Seller

5 / 5
1stdibs seller since 2015
Located in Minneapolis, MN
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