Tea with Penrhyn, 1928


Penrhyn Stanlaws (born Penrhyn Stanley Adamson in Scotland in 1877) was the younger brother of illustrator Sydney Adamson and changed his name to avoid a confusion of identity. He came to the U.S. in 1901 and attended Princeton. He next went to Paris to continue his art studies, and upon his return to New York became an instant success. He specialized in pretty girls, whose faces appeared in many magazines, such as The Saturday Evening Post and Hearst’s International.

His wife was not jealous of his many models; she told an interviewer she didn’t think any more of a model “than the wife of a wool merchant would regard with disfavor a rare bit of merino.”

She also had her husband’s personality going for her. He offended almost every woman he met, and once wrote an article on the flaws of 20 famous beauties (Syracuse Herald, January 7, 1923) with comments like, “Betty Blythe is muscle bound in her hips. She has horse nostrils.”

Stanlaws also wrote screenplays and directed silent films in Hollywood. At the age of 80, he died in his Los Angeles studio, in a fire started when he fell asleep in a chair while smoking.

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I found this illustration posted without documentation, and am very grateful to the “Identify Artist Signatures” website for leading me to the artist in less than a minute.



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