More on Madonna
Regarding Jesse Tinsley’s Dec. 16 piece on The Bon Marche Christmas Madonna:
The designer who did the drawings and sketches from which the display was created, Bob Graves, was responsible for the project. Robert E. Graves, MFA, was the display director for The Bon Marche (Macy’s) in Spokane who submitted the proposal in 1955-56 to Rex Allison, president, Allied Purchasing Corp., Western Group Stores, New York City. We have the original photo of the Madonna plus the names of local colleagues of Bob’s who participated in its creation.
Graves (Feb. 2, 1929-Oct. 5, 2013) was born in Spokane and went on to become a well-known artist and teacher in the Northwest. His obituary can be viewed in the Wenatchee World of Oct. 17. One of his daughters, Jody Graves, is a highly regarded pianist who teaches at Eastern Washington University.
Historically, holiday decorations in the local stores were a source of wonder and pride. Bob spoke with admiration of Joe Sjursen, who was the display director at The Crescent, and who was instrumental in their excellent window animated designs.
What a treasure for our city to continue to enjoy this work of art!