American (1904 – 1967)

Spinner Play, 1934

Oil painting on paper.  The artist created a lithograph of the same subject (Fine & Looney 105/106). An ink drawing of Harriet Marsh is on the verso, a study for his lithograph “Harriet” (Fine & Looney 96). Signed “b.s.” lower right in the image. Pencil inscriptions from the estate and with the red estate stamp on the verso.

19 ¾  x 14 ½ inches  |  50.2 x 36.8 cm

Please contact the gallery for the price  (510) 654-7910

Spinner Play is a splendid and exceptionally rare oil painting by Benton Spruance. Given that the Eagles were founded in 1933, odds are that Spruance’s players featured in this 1934 painting are the Philadelphia Eagles’ first team. Often referred to as “the football artist” during his lifetime, Spruance was described in the local paper Germantown Courier: “Spruance did for football what George Bellows did for boxing.”  Spinner Play makes effective use of vivid reds, and the dynamic, rhythmically curving figures are characteristic of Spruance’s football subjects.

Harriet Marsh was a young Philadelphia woman who was married in 1941.