Penn Library Exhibitions

Robert Montgomery Bird: Writer and Artist

Theatrical Illustrations
The young Bird was already interested in the theater, and texts such as the early and unpublished City Looking Glass are not the only evidence of this interest. Several of his watercolors, some datable to a time when he was still a student, also reflect it. One of the significant aspects of his art for the student of Bird is precisely that it adds a hitherto unexplored dimension to the history of his intellectual as well as esthetic development.

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[IMAGE]
Untitled watercolor sketch (an actor practicing fencing positions? or posing as a pistol shooter?--
the pencil annotation reads: "New York. Third button--two inches left.").
Signed: "RMB--March 1826."
Courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Montgomery Bird

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[IMAGE]
Watercolor sketch
untitled, undated, and unsigned
(the pencil annotation reads:
"Autolycus--Softly, dear Sir; good sir, softly:
you ha' done me a charitable office.
Winters Tale, Act IV. Sc. II."
An uncolored pencil and ink sketch of the same scene is on the verso).
Courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Montgomery Bird

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[IMAGE]
Watercolor sketch of a man in a theatrical pose
untitled, undated, and unsigned
Courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Montgomery Bird

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[IMAGE]
Watercolor portrait (possibly Edwin Forrest?)
untitled, undated, and unsigned
Courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Montgomery Bird

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