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Alexander Humphreys Woollcott

Alexander Humphreys Woollcott
Usage Conditions Apply
Artist
Soss Efram Melik, 1914 - 2003
Sitter
Alexander Humphreys Woollcott, 19 Jan 1887 - 23 Jan 1943
Date
1938
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Stretcher: 87 x 61cm (34 1/4 x 24")
Frame: 96.8 x 72.1 x 3.8cm (38 1/8 x 28 3/8 x 1 1/2")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Object number
NPG.68.35
Exhibition Label
Born Colts Neck Township, New Jersey
From 1933 to 1938, radio’s "Town Crier" opened his CBS radio program by ringing a bell and shouting "Hear ye, hear ye. . . . This is Woollcott speaking." What followed was a mélange of gossip about show business and literature that drew on Woollcott’s position as a New York Times drama critic, New Yorker columnist, and member of the Algonquin Round Table of wits. Woollcott was a larger-than-life personality, and his "Town Crier" program won a large following because he was such an animated storyteller. He became the inspiration for Sheridan Whiteside, the main character in George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart’s play The Man Who Came to Dinner, and he even starred in the role himself. One critic said that he "can persuade you there are truffles on his tonsils." In January 1943, Woollcott had a heart attack while broadcasting and collapsed at the microphone; he died four hours later.
Provenance
The artist; (Kennedy Galleries, New York); purchased 1968 by NPG.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Place
United States\New York\Kings\New York