About the Artist: Born in Baltimore, MD, Theobald was the eldest child of a famous eye surgeon at the Johns Hopkins University Medical School. After attending college at that institution, where he was an artist for the school annual, he worked briefly as a caricaturist for the Baltimore Afternoon News (“Art News”). Early in Theobald’s career, he studied with André Castaigne, the popular French illustrator and painter. He was present to witness the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904, sketching from Federal Hill and creating a lurid painting of fire and smoke that was described as “very appalling” in its sublime effect (“Picture”). Theobald began dividing his time betwen Baltimore and New York around 1900, his main interests to that point focused upon sporting art. In 1915, he married Elizabeth Sturtevant, a sculptor, and exhibited his work in venues like the Corcoran Gallery, the Beginning in the mid-1920s, the divided their time between Staten Island and Orlando, FL. They received permission from the Ringling Brothers to spend several months at the circus’s winter home in Sarasota, resulting in distinctive works like sculptural castings of “Miss Congo” the gorilla, and paintings of bareback riders, clowns on stilts, and “Elephant Being Manicured” (“Theobald Art”). 5 more images at FAP.
Sources Consulted: “Picture of the Great Fire,” Baltimore Sun 12 Mar. 1904: 6; “Art News from Baltimore,” American Art News 3.71 (18 Mar. 1905): 5; “Theobald Art Exhibitions on Display In New Showing of Art Association,” Orlando Sentinel 17 Mar. 1929: 15.
Stern, Alison (biography)
Cooper, Ken (biography)
Object # FA18279