Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 262



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 262

been received by the family that Pyle had been fatally stricken the day before.

Once more Bok went over the field of mural art and decided this time that he would go far afield, and present his idea to Boutet de Monvel, the French decorative artist. Bok had been much impressed with some decorative work by De Monvel which had just been exhibited in New York. By letter he laid the proposition in detail before the artist, asked for a subject, and stipulated that if the details could be arranged the artist should visit the building and see the place and surroundings for himself. After a lengthy correspondence, and sketches submitted and corrected, a plan for what promised to be a most unusual and artistically decorative panel was arrived at.

The date for M. de Monvel’s visit to Philadelphia was fixed, a final letter from the artist reached Bok on a Monday morning, in which a few remaining details were satisfactorily cleared up, and a cable was sent assuring De Monvel of the entire satisfaction of the company with his final sketches and arrangements. The following morning Bok picked up his newspaper to read that Boutet de Monvel had suddenly passed away in Paris the previous evening!

Bok, thoroughly bewildered, began to feel as if some fatal star hung over his cherished decoration. Three times in succession he had met the same decree of fate.

He consulted six of the leading mural decorators in America, asking whether they would consent, not in competition, to submit each a finished full-color sketch



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