Elementary, Watkins

It’s hard to find photographs of WR Watkins. We’ve seen a few studio portraits from the 1960’s, including the one with cigar that we’re using on this site. But here is the earliest photo we’ve come across so far, with the artist looking very British.

William Reginald Watkins in 1937Look magazine from September 14, 1937

The picture can be dated based on the magazine Watkins is reading. Our assumption that it was the popular LOOK magazine turned out to be correct. A bit of research revealed that the typestyle of the cropped K in the corner was used only in the late 1930s before LOOK switched to a thinner serif font. We located the exact issue by matching the oval shape in the cover’s background (some kind of exercise wheel) thanks to this online ephemera resource. Snap, elementary!

The date of September 14, 1937 appears just beneath the 10-cent price, which puts WR Watkins’ age two months short of 47 when the photo was taken.

Posted Thursday, June 4th, 2009 under WR Watkins, history.

One comment so far

  1. Jim Rawle says:

    I realise I might have just sent you a younger Watkins painted by Norman Burnett. Burnett was not always the best about signing and dating his work. A water color of a young woman in the watkins style is dated 1933, I believe other paintings similar to Watkins’ waterfront scenes are from the 20’s. I believe some of these are dated. I suspect the watercolor portrait sent depicts a Watkins from the late 20s early 30s. As I commented nice hair and also prominent schnoz are unmistakeable features.

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