n.p. [Probably London]: n.d. [Ca. 1930].
Brockhurst, Gerald L. 1 vols. 7-7/8 x 6-7/16 inches. Fine Etched Portrait by Gerald Brockhurst. Item #21791
The subject, Charles Lee Reese (1862-1940), was, the DAB notes, “one of the outstanding American industrial chemists of his day”. In 1902 he became chief chemist of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company and organized their first research laboratory, “the foundation upon which was finally erected the mighty Du Pont research organization”; he was the only man ever to have charge of Du Ponts total chemical activities. He was president of many professional associations, and received numerous honorary degrees before his death in 1940. This portrait would seem to date from the early 1930s.
Gerald Leslie Brockhurst (1890-1978) was born in Birmingham, England, where he displayed a precocious talent for drawing. In London he was a prize-winning pupil at the Royal Academy Schools, and began etching in 1914. The following year he and his wife Anais moved to Ireland where for five years, under the patronage of Oliver St. John Gogarty, he made numerous paintings and drawings of Irish people and scenes. In 1920 hed returned to London and began a twenty-year career as an etcher, producing over 80 prints, and portrait painter of such distinction that he was able to command £1,000 a canvas, undertaking a maximun of 20 commissions a year. He was elected to the Royal Academy in 1937.
Around 1929 he met Kathleen Woodward, a sixteen-year old model, whom he rechristened Dorette, and who became the subject of some of his most important works. Their relationship developed rapidly, and led to a protracted, sensationalized divorce case which led to his and Dorette's departure to America in 1940, where they were later married. During the final thirty years of his life Brockhurst pursued a successful career as a portrait painter ($10,000 for a full-length study) dying after a long illness at his home in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.