|Description: We offer a large ink caricature of the owner of the the Kenmore Hotel in Albany, New York leaning against his prized possession with confidence. In the lower corner the drawing is signed “Johnson, Drawn for The Hotel Register.” The drawing is 24” x 17 ¾” and housed in a period frame 26 ½” x 20 ¼”. Item #FA00200.
The caricature is likely one of two people: Thomas J. Murphy, who is listed as the general manager or the Kenmore Hotel in the 1912 Albany City Directory or James A. Oaks, president of the Oaks Hotel Company, and The Kenmore. The drawing was made for the trade periodical “The Hotel Register” which was primarily a chronology of the buyers and merchants of American hotels. It was published between 1884 and 1912.
The Kenmore was built and operated by an African-American man named Adam Blake, Jr and opened its doors in November of 1878. It was a landmark of Albany high and low society; known as a haunt of Legs Diamond and a frequent setting for the Prohibition-era novels of William Kennedy. In the 1950's. The Kenmore was listed in the famous Green Book for African American Travelers.
Condition: There are some losses in the frame. The paper is lightly toned across the middle from the original wooden backing. Good condition overall.