Identified individuals are represented by a biographical sketch, a list of connections to other signatures, and, in most cases, an artifact from the Ransom Centers collections. Help us identify more signatures by submitting your suggested identification.
Marguerite Thompson (1887-1968) was born and raised in Santa Rosa, California. William Zorach (1889-1968) was born Zorach Gorfinkel in Lithuania. His family emigrated to Ohio when he was young and began to call him by the name "William." William and Marguerite met in 1911 at La Palette, a school of art in France. When they married in New York soon afterwards, they took "Zorach" as their new surname. From that time on, they were inseparable, and it is likely that they meant this signature on the door to represent them both. They lived in Greenwich Village at 123 West Tenth Street for many years. Both showed works in the landmark Armory Show of 1913, and Marguerite in particular is seen as an important conduit of European experimentation to America, incorporating fauvist, cubist, and primitivist elements in her early work. Both worked in many genres; William is known best for his experiments with carving in various media, while Marguerite's embroidered tapestries are recognized as groundbreaking works in that understudied genre. Among other things, the couple collaborated in designing stage sets for the Provincetown Players for several years, bringing a critically acclaimed visual aesthetic to the group's productions.
Linoleum cuts by William and Marguerite Zorach in Playboy 2.1(1923)
The literary magazine Playboy was published and edited by Egmont Arens in Greenwich Village from 1919-1925. A richly varied venue for art, poetry, essays, and fiction, it included contributions by various people who signed the bookshop door, and further artists such as Boardman Robinson and Rockwell Kent, and writers such as Ezra Pound and Dorothy Parker. The Zorachs were among many contributors who worked in linoleum cuts and woodcuts, print methods for which the magazine is particularly remembered.