Sarah Churchill – Curtis Hooper Prints

Sarah Churchill – Curtis Hooper Prints

wclithoIn the 1970s, Sarah Churchill was involved in the com­mer­cial pub­li­ca­tion of a series of draw­ings by Cur­tis Hoop­er enti­tled, “A Visu­al Phi­los­o­phy of Sir Win­ston Churchill.”  I am often asked about these draw­ings, and what they are worth. I am qual­i­fied nei­ther to appraise art nor to tes­ti­fy to its gen­uin­i­ty, but I have talked to Mr. Hoop­er and offer what I know here­with.

Except for one pic­ture based on a sketch of her father by Sarah, each print was based on a famous pho­to­graph of Sir Win­ston. The pub­lish­er was Graph­ic House in New Jer­sey. The scheme was quite suc­cess­ful.

Each print was assigned a par­tic­u­lar Churchill quo­ta­tion and signed in pen­cil by Sarah Churchill and Cur­tis Hoop­er (the lat­ter in addi­tion to his print­ed sig­na­ture on the lith­o­graph). Each was num­bered, and pre­sent­ed with a debossed coat of arms and Churchill quo­ta­tion. The pub­lished for­mat was 22 1/2″ x 34 1/2″. Some sources say each print had an edi­tion of 400, and some prints indi­cate 300. But this was a max­i­mum fig­ure, and in fact the actu­al num­ber pro­duced was much low­er (see let­ter below from “Robert”).

These prints are also seen (also signed in pen­cil) in small­er for­mat, about the size of a sheet of U.S. sta­tionery, but were not part of the orig­i­nal project and appear to be repro­duc­tions. Indeed it may be that some of large for­mat prints now offered are repro­duc­tions. Accord­ing to Cur­tis Hoop­er, the large-for­mat ver­sions can be iden­ti­fied by the pres­ence of his sig­na­ture along with Sarah’s. As always with all fine art, one should buy from a rep­utable deal­er who is able to sup­ply prove­nance and assure authen­tic­i­ty.

Very few full col­lec­tions of these prints exist, and a com­plete set would be quite valu­able. The small­er prints seem to be very numer­ous, but since they are not orig­i­nals they car­ry no authen­tic­i­ty and no great val­ue. The larg­er prints, prop­er­ly authen­ti­cat­ed, are worth much more.

I once pub­lished what we then believed to be a com­plete col­lec­tion of six­teen prints, donat­ed to Hills­dale Col­lege by the Churchill schol­ar Har­ry V. Jaf­fa. Infor­ma­tion received since indi­cates there are more than thir­ty.

16 thoughts on “Sarah Churchill – Curtis Hooper Prints

  1. “You can break our hearts, but nev­er our resolve”
    14/300
    Signed by Sarah Churchill and Cur­tis Hoop­er.
    Titled: Remem­brance, Iden­ti­fied as an Intaglio etch­ing
    Cer­tifi­cate of authen­tic­i­ty attached.
    Pur­chased in 1978 in Ann Arbor

    Excel­lent con­di­tion, orig­i­nal.

    Can you offer any guid­ance on val­ue?

  2. What a shame! I bought the exact one fea­tured in this arti­cle with the boy sit­ting and churchill’s face…from an “estate” in Bev­er­ly Hills. Only signed by “Sarah Churchill”. Ugh!

  3. I am afraid that many peo­ple, myself includ­ed, have forg­eries. I have exchanged cor­re­spon­dence on sev­er­al occa­sions with Mr. Hoop­er. He assures me that ALL of the gen­uine Churchill Lith­o­graphs are hand-signed by him and Sarah Churchill in pen­cil . He even described the logis­ti­cal process to me. That means that almost ALL of the prints for sale on-line now are fakes. Mr. Hoop­er told me that he rarely hears ques­tions about authen­tic­i­ty from deal­ers because “they do not want to know.” The rea­son the crooks did not try to fake Hooper’s sig­na­ture is that there is the authen­tic plate sig­na­ture also on the lith­o­graph. It is hard­er to pass off a forgery as real with the gen­uine sig­na­ture is on the same print. I men­tioned the incred­i­ble qual­i­ty of the embossed images and he com­ment­ed it was “easy to cre­ate repro­duc­tions” when you don’t have to pay roy­al­ties or any fees what­so­ev­er. In fact, oth­er than his own copies, he did not even know a gallery where one could be guar­an­teed to find the gen­uine arti­cle!

  4. I have a signed print of Sarah Chruchill (pen­cil) and Hooper…The print is Win­ston look­ing down on a child from the clouds with the atom bomb explo­sion to the right of him. It is num­bered 137/400. Is it pos­si­ble this is a forgery?

  5. I have an embossed print of Churchill show­ing his vic­to­ry sign signed by Cur­tis Hoop­er embossed Sarah sig­na­ture also signed in pen­cil with embossed hous­es of par­lia­ment and embossed ‘We will nev­er for­get your endeav­ours’ but not num­bered. any thoughts?

  6. I recent­ly was giv­en a large for­mat of FDR and Churchill. It is signed in pen­cil by Sarah Churchill as in all the oth­ers I have seen. It is not num­bered but the embossed pic­ture is of Churchill and the Vic­to­ry Sign….with Sarah’s name again embossed there as the oth­ers. There is no Cur­tis Hoop­er sig­na­ture and it is not the $2900 one on ebay with the memo­r­i­al emboss­ing to FDR.
    In my ama­teur opinion….could it be that Sarah did this one and only this one, so it is not num­bered, and let the same pic­ture be used by Hoop­er lat­er for when FDR died, as the emboss­ing on that one is of a cross etc and is num­bered in pen­cil by Sarah?

  7. I have ” We will nev­er nev­er give in” Image of Win­ston he is wear­ing over­coat and mil­i­tary hat. Includes a embosed image of british troops in North Africa and Churchill coat of arms. Sarah Churchill pen­cil sig­na­ture and includes a ref­er­ence to both she and Hoop­er writ­ten in pen­cil at bot­tom. 285 of 300. My freind found this in the garage of his deceas­d­ed father in-law, not sure of his­to­ry.

  8. I have a friend who has a large col­lec­tion of these pieces in his base­ment. They are signed by Cur­tis Hoop­er, sealed by Sarah Churchill, and embossed. I am cur­rent help­ing him get these works out of his base­ment and into a gallery. I would great­ly appre­ci­ate more infor­ma­tion about these works. Great arti­cle.

    Please feel free to con­tact me if you wish to talk more. I apol­o­gize for not hav­ing a jpeg but I can show you a video if you wish to con­tact me.
    jmerk_7@hotmail.com

  9. The two most famous of the issue, espe­cial­ly to Amer­i­cans, was “Friends” and “Hon­orary Cit­i­zen­ship,” respec­tive­ly pic­tur­ing FDR and Churchill at Yal­ta and Churchill and JFK. These two are prob­a­bly the most col­lec­table. I was giv­en a val­ue of $3000 (framed) back in 1993 by Sotheby’s, New York, espe­cial­ly with all the doc­u­ments because many prints do not have them. I even have the doc­u­ments stat­ing that the orig­i­nal plates were destroyed back in 1972. Sarah died in 1982.

  10. I have no appraisal exper­tise and rec­om­mend you see what the prints are sell­ing for on eBay, or con­tact Mark Weber, the Churchill Book Spe­cial­ist, who has prob­a­bly han­dled sev­er­al of them: mark@wscbooks.com. You may wish to insure such mate­r­i­al for a high­er val­ue, to allow for infla­tion increas­es.

  11. I have num­ber 5/350 of the Cur­tis Hoop­er print called “Friends” of
    FDR & Churchill, signed by Sarah Churchill and Cur­tis Hoop­er. It is a
    pow­er­ful image and his­tor­i­cal­ly sig­nif­i­cant, in my opin­ion.
    Am won­der­ing as to the real­is­tic val­ue of this item for insur­ance pur­pos­es.

  12. I have a print called “FRIENDS” and is num­bered 316/350 along with all the doc­u­ments (COA’s). It is a draw­ing of FDR and Churchill at their meetring at Mal­ta dur­ing the War. FDR is sit­ting in his wheel chair with Churchill stand­ing to the back of the chair with his famous cig­ar in his mouth. The quo­ta­tion reads “I WAS OVERPOWERED BY A SENSE OF DEEP AND IRREPARABLE LOSS”. Also the Churchill Coat of Arms in the low­er left hand cor­ner and a cross of the unknown sol­dier that reads “”And so were we” with Sarah Churchill’s sig­na­ture under the draw­ing on the right side. It also has Cur­tis Hoop­ers sig­na­ture at the base of the draw­ing. It is cus­tom framed and flaw­less. I’ve owned it since 1993.

  13. I have one of the larg­er size prints with a draw­ing of Churchill read­ing a news­pa­per on a park bench. The quote is “I shall keep you informed.” It is num­bered 10/300 (not 400). In addi­tion to the debossed Churchill coat of arms and quo­ta­tion, in the low­er left cor­ner there is a debossed “draw­ing” of Churchill with 4 ros­es to his right arm, and Sarah’s debossed sig­na­ture under his left arm.

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