Monday, June 17, 2013


In 1969 Searle published a book of sketches made on location in the strip-shows and cabarets of the St Pauli district of Hamburg.
The French edition had a much more eye-catching cover.  The artwork was originally a cover for HOLIDAY magazine that was rejected until Ronald replaced the prostitute with a 'sex tourist' !

'The Holiday management could not accept a street-walker , however bored, on their cover, and requested a change, which Searle effected by substituting a naive tourist.  A line running down the 'Striptease' poster from the first 'A' in Kabarett shows the left-hand edge of the cut Searle made to lift out the figure of the prostitute, which was subsequently replaced in his original.' - Russell Davies
The 1968 drawings accompanied an article on 'Wicked Cities of the World' by George Feifer. They are broader and must have been created in the studio whereas the 'Secret Sketchbook' was made on location in the clubs.
These images are photographs of the original drawings.
 Similar to the 'Rake's Progress' we see the hapless 'tourist' succumb to alcohol and the charms of the dancers

Searle was acquainted with French cartoonist Bosc who very much admired a drawing in Searle's 'Secret Sketchbook'.  They agreed to trade drawings but Searle was reluctant to dismantle his sketchbook and sent Bosc an original fille with this note.

"Very soon a strong friendship is born between them due to a mutual admiration:

On 3 November 1969, Bosc replied: " It is with great pleasure that I send you one of my drawing. few days will appear in an album of me at Albin Michel. Tell me what are the designs that you like and I'll make one - preferably not too complicated ... For the price this is a million (old) drawing, or if you prefer you send me one of your girls Hamburg instead. Though stripped of preference ... Believe me it will be the place of honor in my room. Very friendly, Bosc.

November 6, 1969 , a week after their first, Ronald Searle sent to Bosc "Daughters of Hamburg" with this message: "Daughters of Hamburg is a sketchbook and I can not tear the pages, but I hope sketch (made according to this book) please.

On 12 November 1969, Bosc replied: " I just received the beautiful drawing gives me great desire to spend a weekend in Hamburg. Thanks again. Especially do not buy my album, I'll send you a copy as soon that I will have received what I hope will be soon. soon, very friendly to you.

On 26 November 1969, "We have received I Love You so kindly autographed, are you willing to drawing without captions on pages 72-73? This is a drawing that has hit us all and we have two the desire to see it on our walls.

December 17, 1969 "Dear Friend, THANK YOU! thank you for the very nice drawing and dedication. My wife and I are happy with our" BOSC "and thank you very much for your kindness ..."

This is from a copy of the book dedicated to Carmen and Michel Cassé who were Ronald's printer of choice for his lithographs.

In Germany the St Pauli drawings were published along with Searle's series of sketches depicting Toulous Lautrec frolicking with his favourite ladies.