Lot 243: Bonnie and Clyde
One-of-a-kind large hand-painted wooden sign from the collection of Charles Stanley that accompanied his touring exhibition of the Bonnie and Clyde ‘Death Car’ beginning in the 1930s, 29 x 65, colorfully depicting Bonnie Parker of “The Bloody Barrow Gang.” A poem honoring the folk-hero outlaws is affixed to the upper left. Includes two different mock-up sketches of Bonnie as she appears on this sign and a flyer with the same image advertising a recording about Bonnie and Clyde made by “C. Wiley Stanley, The Crime Doctor.” In overall very good to fine condition, with cracks and crazing to the painted surface. Stanley, a carnival operator and member of the National Anti-Crime Association (NACA), first exhibited the ‘Death Car’ in his hometown of Abilene, Kansas, in September 1934, just months after Bonnie and Clyde were killed. He began touring the nation with the bullet-ridden vehicle, satisfying the public’s curiosity while using it as a device to lecture on why ‘crime doesn’t pay.’ He spun the death car into a cottage industry, billing himself as the ‘Crime Doctor’ and profiting off associated products. An absolutely unique piece representing the influential pop culture legacy of Bonnie and Clyde. Oversized.
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