Description: We offer a plaster cast of James Dean’s right hand and right foot print. It is 17” x 30 ½", one of two castings made directly from impressions the 11 year-old Dean made in the cement floor of the family barn in Fairmount. One foot, one hand, signed boldly “Jim Dean ‘44”. The casting was made by Glen Allen of Marion, Indiana. Allen worked for the local paper, was a strong supporter of Dean, and a close friend of Adeline Nall, James Dean’s High School Drama teacher. The other casting is displayed at the Fairmount Indiana Historical Museum. The piece is highly reminiscent of the sidewalk outside Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Los Angeles lined with celebrity handprints, footprints, and autographs. James Dean never had a handprint ceremony at the theater during his short career, yet here is material evidence of a child mussing up freshly poured concrete. A common impulse. Daydreaming. Play acting. Prophesizing. A poetic and rare memento of an American icon.
James Dean (1931-1955) was born at the Seven Gables apartment house in Marion, Indiana to Mildred Marie Wilson and Winton Dean. In early childhood, he lived in Santa Monica, California. When his mother died suddenly from uterine cancer in 1938, Dean was sent to live with his aunt and uncle, Ortense and Marcus Winslow, on their farm in Fairmont, Indiana. Dean was active in athletics and drama in school. His drama teacher Adeline Nall urged him to study acting. James Dean acted in three movies,East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant before his untimely death in a car racing accident. His work, his life, his death all gave voice and visibility to the teenage disillusionment and rebellion that would crack Western culture open the coming decade. Descended in the family of a friend of Glen Allen. Included with the purchase is a letter of provenance from the family member, Jan Galligan. Item #DA00150.
Condition: Fine condition, the surface was sealed with a sepia toned patina that emphasizes the impressions in the plaster.