Mazzanovich Presentation Sketch Book

Book, pictures and description courtesy of Mr. Richard Blacher.

Mazzanovich Sketch Book

This unusual Roycroft sketch book (large format) was probably a birthday gift to Lawrence Mazzanovich (Mazzy) (1871 1959) in 1899 from W. W. Denslow (1856 1915), and the Leyendecker brothers J. C. (1874 1951) and Francis (1877 1924). Each of the three produced full-page watercolor and calligraphed illustrations.  My information is cursory, and I don't know the significance of the artwork.  Denslow, the Leyendeckers, and Mazzanovich were friends in Chicago, and most likely met at the Art Institute. My hunch is that Denslow, being about 20 years older than the other three, was probably the catalyst in the friendship and, possibly, a father figure. Denslow introduced Mazzy (a young, very talented painter) to Elbert Hubbard, and he became an illustrator at the Roycroft Shop for a short time beginning in 1898 (?). His work that I've examined in Roycroft books is extraordinary. The work of Denslow and the Leyendeckers is well known. Mazzanovich went on to become a nationally recognized landscape artist, whose work now commands high prices at the major auction houses. One other interesting item in the book is that there is an inscription to Mazzy from Hubbard, but it was penned and signed by his secretary. This is the first time I've seen anything like that. If there's anyone out there who can shed some light on the significance of the artwork or relationships between these four artists, I would appreciate hearing from you.

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