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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