Here’s Looking at You, Maud

By E. Richard McKinstry, Winterthur Library Director and Andrew W. Mellon Senior Librarian

Illustration by Maud Humphrey

Maud Humphrey is acknowledged to have been one of the finest artists and illustrators of the late 1800s and early 1900s, but to those who know of her and her life, she may be even more famous for the son she had.

Book cover illustrated by Maud Humphrey, Rare Books Collection

Maud was born in 1868 in Rochester, New York. She demonstrated her artistic talents as a child and not even into her teens began to take art instruction from a local minister, James Dennis, who had studied at the National Academy of Design. During the early 1880s, Maud began illustrating children’s books and magazines, and in 1885, she went to New York City to continue her studies at the Art Students League. In time, she won a Louis Prang and Company competition for Christmas card design and began working for publisher F. A. Stokes as an illustrator. In 1891 she traveled to Paris to study at the Académie Julian.

Illustration by Maud Humphrey

By 1893 Maud had found her niche: she was known as a painter of children. By the turn of the century she had become one of the best paid and most successful commercial illustrators in America, frequently using boys and girls to populate her drawings. Through her illustrations, she helped sell such products as Ivory soap, Elgin watches, Mellin baby food, Sunshine stoves, and Crosman Brothers flower seeds.

She also illustrated books, including Mother Goose, Babes of the Year, Sleepy Time Stories, and Little Colonial Dame. Coincidentally, Mabel Humphrey Green, Maud’s younger sister, was an author of children’s books.

Book cover illustrated by Maud Humphrey, Rare Books Collection

In 1898 Maud married Belmont Deforest Bogart, a physician, and together they lived in New York City. They had one son, Humphrey, born one year after their marriage, and two daughters, Frances and Catherine. Well off financially, in 1910, when they resided on West 103rd Street in New York City, they shared a house with three servants. Humphrey, an obstreperous child by all accounts, would of course eventually achieve fame as an award-winning actor on stage and screen.

Despite popular belief, Humphrey Bogart was not the model for the baby on the Gerber baby food label, and his mother did not draw it. Gerber did not market baby food until the late 1920s, when Bogie was around 30 years old.

Just as her son’s films remain iconic, Maud still enjoys notoriety for her accomplishments as an artist—as the accompanying illustrations from the Winterthur Library show.

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30 Responses to Here’s Looking at You, Maud

  1. delores willis says:

    I have a water color by maud humphrey but it is signed yeiser. could she be conected to the yeiser art school in some way?

  2. Richard McKinstry says:

    You are very fortunate to have what you have. What does the watercolor depict? I’m not familiar with the Yeiser Art School, though an Internet search reveals there is now a Yeiser Art Center in Paducah, Kentucky. Possibly a biography of Maud Humphrey, Maud Humphrey: Her Permanent Imprint on American Illustration, by Karen Choppa and Paul Humphrey (related?), would have the answer. If we had a copy here at Winterthur I would have gladly checked; unfortunately we do not. Please let us know if you track down the connection.

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  4. Beth Turza says:

    Years ago I aquired an original Maud Humphrey watercolor dated ’84 with her signature. It is of a youmg woman, standing wearing a long gown and bonnet, with a grove of trees behind her. It was framed during the era that it was hand painted. I would like to share photos of it.

  5. Marjorie J Erickson says:

    I have a picture, painted on metal, of the little girl doing the wash. It is signed Maude Humphrey. Could this be an original? Did she ever paint on metal?

    • melissa says:

      have the same one .when i got it ,its made in to à cabinet the painting is frames foot on cabinet. Its so cool love it

    • Elizabeth G says:

      No, not an original. The metal ones were reproductions of her art that were sold in abundance around the later part of the 1990’s. I have several of them including the little girl washing clothes. At this point I guess they would be considered collectible and might be worth a bit more than the dollar I paid for mine new.

  6. Brett Watson says:

    I have a Maud Humphrey illustration of a girl in a winter scene holding one snowball in her right hand. She’s wearing a khaki dress and a forest green overcoat with a large white collar and a matching green hat. The illustration is framed and appears to be painted on a type of cloth. Mostly, I’m curious of the picture was used in any book or magazine. I’ve not seen it in any of my web searches. If your aware of some catalog of her work, I’d love to know of it. Thanks!

    • Teri says:

      I believe your photo was used in a 1905 calendar for Equitable Life Ins. Co., there are 12 prints of little girls and I have found only one from the calendar that has been reused as a postcard and then a litho print, I may be wrong but I am thinking that is what you have. Hope that helps you out some.

  7. jeneva says:

    Hi i have a picture drawn by maud Humphrey 1903 5 little girls looking oround the frame is long one of the little girls have a Butter fly on top of the head

  8. REGINA says:

    I HAVE A CUT OUT FROM THE FRONT OF A GREETING CARD,
    IT IS A LOVELY BLACK GIRL WITH CURLY HAIR AND A LARGE YELLOW FLOWER STEM BEHIND HER. SHE IS WEARING A WHITE DRESS.
    IT IS SIGNED M. HIMPHREY
    THE BACK HAS A HANDWRITTEN NOTE
    C. 1889 ” SUMMER SMILE” BY MAUDE HUMPHREY
    I PAID $50.00 ABOUT 15 YEARS AGO, CAN YOU GIVE AN ESTIMATE, I’M THINKING IT IS A PRINT. THANK YOU

  9. Cathy Reagan says:

    After the death of my sister in 2009, I was given a Baby’s Record hardcover book by Maud Humphrey that belonged to our Aunt. She had (1) child born Jan. 3, 1907 and died when he was 9 years old in 1916. The book is lovely and it has twelve illustrations IN COLOUR and thirty illustrations in black and white by Maud Humphrey. This book was written on the pages to keep every record of her only child. Can you advise me as to the value of this book and especially since Maud Humphrey only wrote one Baby Record book 1898–Thank you for any information you may have. Cathy

    • Allison Dunckel says:

      Cathy, Two suggestions: you could go to eBay (http://www.ebay.com/), to do a search for Maud, and to see what is for sale. I took a quick look, but there doesn’t seem to be a match of your print. At least you can see the range of prices for one of Maud’s prints. Also, check http://www.ahpcs.org/, the web site for the American Historical Print Collectors Society. There is a Directories tab along the top of the page that when clicked on produces a list of dealer members. Possibly there is a dealer near to where you live.

  10. Vicki Wheeler says:

    I have 2 Maude Humphrey prints in the original frames. They were copyrighted in 1897 by the Knapp Company. They are in excellent condition and have been in my Husbands family since the late 1800’s. I purchased both of them at a family auction and would like to know all about them. The names are The Little Captive and Be careful Sir. I have seen the Little Captive in the figurines but i have never seen the other one. If anyone can share what they know about these pictures I would appreciate.
    Please anser directly to my e-mail please. Thanks a lot, Vicki Wheeler

  11. Mary Soldano says:

    I have a painting by Maud Humphrey Bogart titled Springtime Gathering! It Is In A Gold Ornate Frame With Seven Little Girls! Any Idea Of The Value?

    • Allison Dunckel says:

      Hi, we do not give appraisals I would recommend visiting a local antiques dealers. Perhaps they can appraise it. thank you.

  12. Ann says:

    I have three protraits of women playing golf named Teeing Off, Lost Ball, One putt I would like to know how much they are worth

  13. Dawn Ridge says:

    I have what appears to be an original watercolor by Maud Humphrey dated 98 of a child praying and the mother sitting on the bed with her. Has the original blown glass and frame. I was wondering if there was someone who could identify this as an original.

  14. Jim says:

    Looking for information on Mabel Humphrey,Maud Humphreys sister.

    Her biographical information as well as artistic works. Thank you.

    • Allison Dunckel says:

      Jim, We have a couple of books illustrated by Mabel Humphrey, but not a ton of info. in our library on biographical information. Having said that, a Google search yields quite a few responses, mostly references to books and illustrations she did. I am sure Ancestry.com has biographical/genealogical information. Hope this helps!

  15. Judy Martinez says:

    Hello I have picture water color Mrs Bogart did but can not find it anywhere the name is springtime gathering ir has 7 or eight little girls in it can you tell me anything about it

  16. Judy Martinez says:

    Hello it me Judy Martinez again the picture Mrs Bogart did is in a gold frame called springtime gathering dated 1889 any comments on it. Judy

    • Allison Dunckel says:

      In 1993, Schiffer Publishing issued a book by Karen Choppa and Paul Humphrey, Maud’s second cousin, entitled Maud Humphrey: Her Permanent Imprint on American Illustration. There are a few lines about “Springtime Gathering” on page 12. Maud painted it in 1889 and it was published by Frederick Stokes. Stokes used the same image, but in black and white, as the frontispiece for A Treasury of Stories, Jingles and Rhymes,” which was published in 1894 and is available via Google Books. Unfortunately, the Schiffer book isn’t indexed, so it is difficult to find other references to “Springtime Gathering.” Nevertheless, the book is a good resource about Maud’s career and offers many illustrations of her art work.

  17. Kevin Ammentorp says:

    Hello. I just found what looks like an original finished pencil piece signed by Maud Humphrey. It shows a little boy and girl facing each other holding hands and looking into each others eyes. What might be mistletoe is hanging above them. The signature on this doesn’t look like the signature I’ve seen on her watercolor pieces. This is done in block letters with the left leg of the M and H longer and extending below the rest of the letters. I’ve been searching and so far I can’t find a picture of her pencil work to compare this to. I’ve ordered the Schiffer book in hopes it might have some examples of her finished pencils. Thanks for any information you might have.

    • Allison Dunckel says:

      Kevin, Maud Humphrey: Her Permanent Imprint on American Illustration, the book published by Schiffer in 1993, contains an illustration that seems to match the description given in the question. It is on page 143. Associated information states that the picture is called “Under the Mistletoe” and that it appeared in Baby Sweethearts, published in 1890 by F.A. Stokes. The signature is very light, but it looks like the legs for M and H do extend below the rest of the letters in Maud’s name.

      Hope this helps.

  18. Jenny L says:

    I have a water color on paper by Maud Humphrey of a little girl with her two fingers out and a bird coming to land on it, bird is yellow and she has a light blue bow in her hair, her hair is up with one long curl hanging down, in front of her right arm is some purple flowers and on her right shoulder back is the same purple flowers, it says Birds in Babyland, says original and has the name Frances Brundage, I would like to know if I have something worth something or not.

    • Allison Dunckel says:

      Hi Jenny, we don’t give out appraisals for works, but I would suggest researching on the Internet, perhaps on a marketplace site like eBay where you might find collectors that can give you an idea of what the value is.

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