Painting

Ralph Steadman Looking for Lost Kentucky Derby Artworks

April 19, 2017

Ralph Steadman is unusual for many reasons, but one of them is his unwillingness to part with original drawings. As a result the archive is well stocked with complete collections, drawings and sketches which date back to the 1950's and his student days.

However over the years some have gone missing usually through lackadaisical filing in newspaper and magazine offices before computers and the internet changed the way artwork could be provided to a printers.

One such collection affected was the Kentucky Derby set - that iconic group of artworks produced for Hunter S. Thompson and Ralph's first ever collaboration for Scanlan's Magazine where they famously (or infamously) covered the 1970 Kentucky Derby and Gonzo Journalism was born.

Several years ago one was anonymously returned to Ralph with a note simply saying that the piece had provided many years of joy but now it was time to return it. Now we are on the hunt for the rest - not to claim any sort of ownership. Our reasons are far more philanthropic. We seek only to locate the pieces so they might be included in a retrospective exhibition in the USA which we hope to see touring in late 2017 early 2018 and taking in cities and states all over the USA, from the East Coast to the West, including Kentucky.

So, dear fans, Ralph needs your help. Numbered among you are collectors, dealers, critics and pure fans and we are hoping that with all your connections, someone out there might just know where these celebrated pieces of Gonzo history might be. They would make no claim or ownership - they just want the opportunity to display them together, for the first time ever since their creation and publication in 1970.

If you might know of the whereabouts of any of the artworks included in this post, please contact Sadie at [email protected] with any and all information.