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  • Design Credit: Samantha Todhunter Design Ltd., Photo Credit: Oliver Clarke. Dimensions: H 31 in. x W 27 in.
  • Design Credit: Lucy Harris Studio, Photo Credit: Francesco Bertocci. Dimensions: H 31 in. x W 27 in.
  • Design Credit: Timothy Godbold, Photo Credit: Karl Simone. Dimensions: H 31 in. x W 27 in.
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Richard Whorf
Till the Clouds Roll By 1945 Frank Sinatra Mid Century Modern Hollywood Film WPA

1945

$75,000

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Till the Clouds Roll By 1945 Frank Sinatra Mid Century Modern Hollywood Film WPA TILL THE COULDS ROLL BY (Film Set), oil on canvas, 20 x 24 inches signed “Richard Whorf” lower right and signed and dated on the verso “R. Whorf/ Dec. 21, 1945. Frame by Hendenryk. ABOUT THE PAINTING This painting is from the collection of Barbara and Frank Sinatra, dated December 21, 1945 (just nine days after Frank Sinatra’s 30th birthday), and depicts the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Culver City backlot during the filming of Till the Clouds Roll By, the direction of the film having been taking over by Richard Whorf in December 1945. It is not presently clear if Whorf gave the Sinatras this painting as a gift, as the presence of the Dalzell Hatfield Galleries label on the verso indicates the painting may have been sourced there. Frank and Nancy Sinatra acquired a number of works from Dalzell Hatfield Galleries during the 1940’s, or perhaps they framed it for the couple. Sinatra performed “Old Man River’ in the film. Sinatra and June Allyson are depicted in the center of the painting. PROVENANCE From the Estate of Mrs. Nancy Sinatra; Dalzell Hatfield Galleries, Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles. An image of the Dalzell Hatfield label and the back of the original frame (which we replaced with a stunning Heydenrk frame) are attached. Nancy Sinatra was Fran's first wife. Nancy Rose Barbato was 17 years old when she met Frank Sinatra, an 18-year-old singer from Hoboken, on the Jersey Shore in the summer of 1934. They married in 1939 at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Jersey City where Frank gave Nancy a recording of a song dedicated to her titled "Our Love" as a wedding present. The young newlyweds lived and worked in New Jersey, where Frank worked as an unknown singing waiter and master of ceremonies at the Rustic Cabin while Nancy worked as a secretary at the American Type Founders. His musical career took off after singing with big band leaders Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, and Nancy went on tour with Frank and his band which she recalled were the happiest times of their married life. Frank and Nancy Sinatra were the proud parents of three children: Nancy Jr. (born in 1940), Frank Jr. (born in 1944) and Christina (born in 1948). In 1951, Nancy and Frank’s marriage ended in divorce, but the couple remained friends throughout their lives until Frank’s death in 1998 at the age of 82. Mrs. Sinatra devoted her life to her family, friends and philanthropic causes and died at the age of 101 on July 13, 2018. “In Nancy, I found beauty, warmth and understanding; being with her was my only escape from what seemed to be a grim world,” Frank Sinatra said in a 1952 interview. BIO Richard Whorf (June 4, 1906 December 14, 1966) was an American actor, film producer and director, and visual artist. He started his acting career at an early age in Boston, MA and was performing on Broadway by the age of 21. In the 1930s he moved to Hollywood where he became a contract player. He began directing in 1944 with his first film Blonde Fever starring Philip Dorn and Mary Astor. In 1946 and 1947 two films were released in which he directed Frank Sinatra: Till the Clouds Roll By (1946) featuring Sinatra performing “Old Man River” and the musical comedy It Happened in Brooklyn (1947) starring Sinatra in the lead role. During the 1950s and 60s, Whorf directed multiple television shows including Gunsmoke, My Three Sons, and 67 episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies. He appeared on screen during that time as well, most notably in an episode of The Rifleman as The Illustrator, a painter with a drinking problem. In addition to his involvement in the entertainment industry, Whorf was an artist, having sold his first painting for $100 at the age of 15. Whorf’s artistic endeavors were profiled and his studio photographed for the March 17, 1963 issue of the syndicated newspaper magazine TV Channels. In the article, Whorf is quoted by the reporter, “Who says that a man has to do one thing?”

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