Dining with Character

“All cartoons must be an exaggeration…”

Walt Disney

We are all familiar with restaurants that cover their walls with images of famous customers. Where did it start? Maybe at Sardi’s. Sardi’s is an iconic New York eatery, right in the middle of Broadway. It is part of theatre district history and at times particularly popular with performers. Fir years the Tony award ceremonies were held and broadcast from there. Around 1927 artist Alex Gard was a frequent patron of Sardi’s. He began to sketch and paint the celebrities and characters he encountered. Most ended up on the wall. Gard died on the subway in 1948, but by then he had produced over 700 pieces. Many are now in the New York Public Library. His technique is very specific. An initial pencil sketch in the restaurant, ink is added at home along with a heavy application of watercolour paint. Finally, the unique step of soaking the work in his bath for 24 hours to soften and blend the colours. #art&foodhistory #letsmakelemonade

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