The owner of this important Peter Helck painting forwarded these images for this weekend's Mystery Foto.
Mystery Foto questions:
- Which race was being depicted in the painting?
1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race
- Identify the race cars, drivers and mechanicians
#16 Locomobile driven by George Robertson (driver) and Glenn Ethridge (mechanician)
#4 Chadwick driven by Willie Haupt (driver) and E.A. Lindquist (mechanician)
- What were possible locations for this scene?
This painting was not based on a specific photo. Left turns on the public road section of the 1908 course included:
- Round Swamp Road on to Manetto Hill Road (now Old Bethpage Road).
- Woodbury Road on to Jericho Turnpike- The Woodbury Turn
- Jericho Turnpike on to Ellison Road
- Who did Peter Helck give this painting to and why?
As indicated in the lower left section, Peter Helck gave this painting to George Robertson, the winning driver for the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race, on October 24, 1938, the 30th anniversary of his victory.
- Jerry Helck, the son of Peter Helck, has told me that this painting was important for his father's career. Can you explain why?
This painting was used as part of the Peter Helck's successful pitch to Esquire for his 1944 series of paintings in the magazine. Moreover, it served as a preliminary painting for Helck's "Robertson Comes Through" which was featured on the cover of his book "The Checkered Flag."
Jerry Helck: "There are references to this particular painting, including Peter Heck's request that George Robertson make it available to the Art Director at Esquire as part of his campaign to persuade them to do the series. In another letter he acknowledges that it was further development of this painting that became ROBERTSON COMES THROUGH, no surprise."
Congrats to Chuck Rudy, Frank Femenias, Edgar Masters ,Greg O. and Ariejan Bos for identifying "Old 16" during the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race. Kudos to Chuck Rudy (See below Chuck's Clues) and Ariejan Bos for linking this painting to Helck's Esquire series and his "Robertson Comes Through" classic
Lower left corner: "To George Robertson From Peter Helck 10-24-1908"
"Robertson Comes Through", Painted especially for Esquire magazine by Peter Helck in 1944
The cover of Peter Helck's The Checkered Flag
1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race Course
Chuck's Clues (Submitted by Chuck Rudy, Jr.)
Chuck Rudy, Jr.: "Here is the similar piece I was referencing…..happens to be on eBay. The angle is similar, but the detail appears greater in this photo with a different pursuer."
Congratulations to The New York Mets
Hats off to the New York Mets for an outstanding thrilling season. After Curt Granderson's first inning homer, Fox-TV had a great shot of me waving my Met flag.