This Virginia artist joined the U.S. Forest Service in the early 1930s and helped launch the "Smokey the Bear" campaign in the late '30s -- now the longest running public service campaign in history; he portrayed Smokey in literally hundreds of promotional pieces that encouraged conservation of natural resources and fire prevention. Item #45234
Color PS, heavy stock glossy 6" X 4", n.p., n.y. Near fine. Full color postcard reproduction of Wendelin's 1989 painting "Dear Smokey..." depicting the beloved bear leaning against a shovel alongside his mailbox reading a child's letter as two cubs clamber atop the mailbox, a wooded setting featuring lake, campers and ranger's cabin in the background. Wendelin signs boldly in black fineline in a lighter area at lower left. Accompanied by a high-quality glossy 10" X 8" photograph, a 1979 black and white image showing Wendelin and his wife standing alongside a costumed "Smokey the Bear" figure seated at a desk overflowing with fan mail, leaning back and reading a letter. (Inkstamped on verso "Smokey Bear Headquarters U.S. Department of Agriculture.") Fine. A most unusual photograph, possibly unpublished.