Never Before Seen in Public: Drawings by Dean Cornwell

The Salmagundi Club, located at 47 Fifth Avenue in Greenwich Village, presents Dean Cornwell: head and shoulders above. The exhibition, which runs until October 9, explores the drawings of one of America’s greatest illustrators and muralists, (Charles) Dean “Dan” Cornwell (1892-1960).

2007.470 Charles Dean Dan Cornwell 1892-1960 Two poses of worker with disk ca1930s
2007.470 Charles Dean Dan Cornwell 1892-1960 Two poses of worker with disk ca1930s

Cornwell, who was born in Louisville, Kentucky, became an important figure in American mural painting, having completed works for Los Angeles Public Library and the Lincoln Memorial Shrine in Redlands. He created murals at The Bethlehem Steel Company, New York’s General Motors Building, the 1939 World’s Fair, the Lincoln Memorial in Redlands, California, and Rockefeller Center.


The tightly curated drawings, never before shown to the public, consist of mural studies and are displayed in the Grand Stairwell Gallery of the Salmagundi Club townhouse.

The mural studies are part of the Wilmuth Holt art collection, and depict figures in an art deco style rendered in pastel, charcoal and chalk. In the words of Bill Indursky, who curated the show, “The expressions, clear silhouettes used for mural work and subtlety of the drawings prove why Cornwell was “head and shoulders” above his fellow artists.”


Salmagundi is a non-profit 501(c)(3) professional and social club, created in 1871 by artists and patrons to support one another. It is one of America’s oldest arts organizations with more than 1,100 current members throughout the United States and abroad.

The Club has continuously championed representational art from its founding with iconic members, including Thomas Moran (1837-1926), William Merritt Chase (1849-1916), Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933), Emil Carlsen (1848-1932), N.C. Wyeth (1882-1945), Childe Hassam (1859-1935) and Winston Churchill (1874-1965).

For breaking stories, follow us:

Subject matter specialists and high-res digital assets are available.

Joseph Ralph Fraia, Chair – Charity Henderson, Vice-Chair
Salmagundi Public Relations Committee
(917) 930-1494 or (315) 506-8108