Thursday, June 3, 2010

Art Discovery: Philippine Scenes 1929-30 by John Maynard

Two things struck us when we came upon twelve drawings of Philippine scenes (all reproduced here) that the Philippine Magazine published in series from June 1929 to May 1930:  first, they were done by "a well-known English artist", and second, the artist John Maynard is a namesake of John Maynard Keynes of the revolutionary Keynesian economics, already popular around that time, who also dabbled in the arts.

But there's nothing more in the magazine about the artist other than that descriptive note in the captions to the artworks, although he illustrated Frank Lewis Minton's "Indarapatra and Suleyman, An Epic of Magindanao" in the September 1929 issue, and also wrote of  and illustrated his "Impressions of the Manila Vaudeville Stage" and  "Impressions of the Manila Theater" in the October and November 1929 issues, respectively.   These "impressions" sound like Ricky Lo's (and before him, Joe Quirino's) take on showbiz characters today.

This John Maynard can't possibly be the British economist John Maynard Keynes whose revolutionary ideas were overturning classical economic thinking at around that time too.  Keynes was also interested in the fine arts, literature and the theater.  He collected works of modern artists like Cezanne, Picasso and Matisse; supported the Cambridge Arts Theater; and enjoyed the company of, and belonged to, the Bloomsbury Group of writers. 

Today's digital search engines do not yield anything about this Maynard either although there are plenty of references in the cyberworld on Keynes and some other namesakes.

Who was this John Maynard then? Where are the original twelve drawings? Who's keeping them?


Maynard, J. (1928, June to 1929, May). 'Wash-out' drawings of Philippine scenes in 12 series. Philippine Magazine.  26(1) to 27(12):Various pages. Manila: Phil. Education Company, Inc.  Retrieved from

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