Kitty Of The Chorus
SHE was a beautiful showgirl in the Ziegfield Follies. HE was a dashing young cartoonist/illustrator. It was the ’20s, things were roaring, and whatever went on between them they took to their graves. But the art that Wesley Morse gave to Avonne Taylor she kept for 70 years, only to have it found by her grand nephew, Kirk Taylor after her death in 1992.

If you don’t know Wesley Morse, he’s best known as the creator of BAZOOKA JOE, but is one of only two identified artists on the Tijuana Bibles, and in between he did all sorts of things, like design the Copa Girl and, more crucially, he was the illustrator for the Ziegfield Follies in the ’20s, which is how he met Taylor.

Kirk Taylor writes to say he’s started a website for the Taylor/Morse Collection, as he’s dubbed the artwork found in Avonne’s collection. Only a few things are up so far, but he’s working on getting more of it posted and has spoken to Jay Lynch and folks at Topps about Morse as well. A minor blip of history? Sure, but also a touching historical snapshot of a world long gone. But not forgotten.


  1. Thanks for posting the info on my father, Wesley Morse. Be on the lookout for some exciting things coming up about Wesley and his art, and check out the Taylor/Morse website for a brief bio on Wesley.

  2. The line-work is wonderful. And the dialogue … “Thank Goodness” she won’t have to brave the uncivilized subway. Priceless. I’ll check the site for updates.

    I admire the artwork, but it’s slightly marred by the crude “lettering” of early comics. If only someone with the talent of John Costanza, Sammy Rosen, or Richard Starkings could have lettered early strips like LITTLE NEMO.

  3. It’s great to see Wesley Morses’ artwork and talent recognized. He was my
    uncle, and I have fond memories of him. Talley, I hope you are well, and will someday contact me. I know we were cousins, but I always thought of you as my big brother…I just want you to know, I made a bad decision, and have always regretted it. I’m glad you and Nancy are doing well.

  4. My mom passed away in May of this year and I have been sorting through her things. I found a framed, delicate, old colored print ( from some type of magazine, I believe) of a girl entitled” A Flash Of Old Spain” with Wesley Morse written in one of the colors used in the art work. This must have belonged to my grandparents. Since it is a colored print of his work, I imagine it is not very valuable but I wondered if you could tell me about it. I know my grandfather was a gymnast and dancer. The girl featured is wearing a skimpy outfit, lace mantilla on her head and a fan spread in her hand. It is a side view. Thank you! Pam

  5. I have an old 11″ X 17″ menu from Billy Rose’s Diamond Horseshoe in the Paramount hotel, NYC. The artwork on the cover is by Wesley Morse. The menu was probably printed in the late 1940’s. I haven’t seen this particular art posted anywhere online. It is lovely. There was a Betty Grable film made about Billy Rose’s Diamond Horseshoe. It was quite a popular place in those days.

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