Emil Orlik Home Essay Categories Contact

Emil Orlik: Hamtree - Plantation

Hamtree - Plantation
colour crayon drawing, 1922
Sheet Size: 27.5 x 21.4 cm - (10¾ x 8½ inches)
titled and signed in pencil

a wonderful caricature like portrait of the American entertainer
on japan paper

James Carl "Hamtree" Harrington was a very prominent African-American dancer, singer and actor with a long career spaning the 1920s to 1950s. Orlik apparently saw him in a very early vaudeville sketch on his only visit to America. Hamtree had a very successful career on Broadway in many musicals including 'Jittering Jitterbugs' and 'Rufus Jones for President'; he also appeared in a number of films made in the 1930s, notably "The Devil's Daughter", a voodoo horror film starring Nora Mae McKinley and an all black cast; He appeared with such famous stars as Ethel Waters, The Mills Sisters (he married one of them) and Sammy Davis Jnr; his birth date is not known but he died in 1956