November 7, 2017
Los Angeles, California
Thanks to the Eagle Eyes of my good friend, Robert “Dr. Watson” Sadler, retired Dallas 5-0 police officer, crime novelist, and all around good guy, our own mystery lithograph has possibly been identified– and it only took him two days! Based on this information the previously unnamed “Portrait” appears to be that of Man Ray’s wife, Juliet. Ironically, Man Ray may have drawn it from a 1944 photo shoot of Juliet and Dorothy Hodel! (I say “appears” pending confirmation of the title, which is not visible anywhere on the lithograph.)
Here is Robert Sadler’s email from this morning:
Good morning after your birthday!
As discussed I had not seen the ‘new’ litho, so went to Google this morning and found this, which I’m forwarding in case you have not seen it:
It turns out while the Man Ray lithograph was only listed as “Portrait” on the Fogg Art Museum entry, other copies were sold at auction and contained the further description, reportedly titled, “Julie”. (The lithograph above was “85/100 signed copies by Man Ray and was auctioned in June 2015)
Based on this new information and tentative name identification “JULIE”, if provenance can be verified, then I would then be confident in saying “CASE SOLVED” and the “Portrait” is, in fact, Man Ray’s wife, Juliet, likely redrawn by him from their “Hollywood Years.” The potential source of the 1970 could well have been the 1944 Juliet/Dorothy Hodel photo which shows her with a flower in her hair. (Or if not that exact photo, a similar one from the same time period.)
Once again, Mucho Gras to Robert Sadler for helping me keep the investigation on the straight and not so narrow path.
Update: November 7 2017:
This received from a staff assistant, Division of Modern and Contemporary Art, Harvard Art Museum. So, at this point the “Julie” title still remains unconfirmed.
Dear Mr. Hodel,
I wasn’t able to locate any additional information in our file. The only inscriptions on the print are the run number (37/100) and the artist’s signature, both of which are visible in the photograph on our web site. I find no mention of the word “Julie” on the object. I have no other information regarding the acquisition other than it was a gift of Reese and Marilyn Arnold Palley.