Saturday, May 16, 2015

A. Merritt Art Gallery-Through the Dragon Glass

"Through the Dragon Glass" by A. Merritt in
All-Story Weekly, November 24, 1917

Abraham Merritt was a thirty-three-year-old journalist laboring away in New York City when All-Story Weekly published his first story, an Oriental fantasy called "Through the Dragon Glass." It's no surprise that his was not the cover story. Instead, a long-established author, Julian Hawthorne (1846-1934), son of Nathaniel Hawthorne, earned his place on the cover with "The Cosmic Courtship." Merritt's story was also a romance, though not "inter-planetary." Inter-dimensional might be the right word to describe it, as the "Dragon Glass, " an artifact looted from the Forbidden City at the end of the Boxer Rebellion, allows its possessor to pass from one plane into another. The uncanny qualities of the Dragon Glass make me think of the green casket in "Claimed!" by Francis Stevens, from 1920. The story also mentions Iram, the many-columned city of the desert that showed up as Irem in "The Nameless City" by H.P. Lovecraft (1921). The artist is unknown. The medium looks like watercolor or gouache. The technique, especially in the handling of the female figure, reminds me of the work of Roy G. Krenkel (1918-1983) or some other American illustrator of the 1950s and '60s.
Caption copyright 2015 Terence E. Hanley

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