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"The French Hold-up": Illustration for the Essay "Star of Hope"
Date: ca. 1940-1942
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Medium: Brush and black ink on three pieces of ivory paper, laid on a larger sheet
Dimensions: Sheet: 10 1/8 x 14 7/8 in. (25.7 x 37.8 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of the Joseph M. McCrindle Foundation
Object Number: 2009.37
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Inscribed: Signed in black ink at lower right: "Bemelmans"; inscribed in black ink at lower center: "STAR OF HOPE"

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Illustration on page 43 for the short essay "Star of Hope," was published in I Love you, I Love You, I Love You (New York: The Viking Press, 1942, pp. 38-48), one of Bemelmans' collections of light essays that relates the escapades of a world traveler. The essay was first published in Town and Country (February 1940, pp. 34-35, 75) with different illustrations under the title "I love America." In the first illustration, the title is lettered in script with the "i" in "America" dotted by a star, hence the second title of this piece in which America and Americans are both celebrated and satirized. Written in the early days of World War II, it captures some of the ambiguities and humorous differences in European-American cultural interfaces.