There is always huge excitement around a new Seuss finding. Clues to the existence of one of Ted’s artworks can come from anywhere—a photo in an old magazine, an inheritance, a phone call from a lucky benefactor, The Antiques Roadshow, or a return visit to California to plumb the depths of the Dr. Seuss Archives. An enticing pointer from a legitimate source can start an exhaustive treasure hunt. This is what happened with the discovery of Kangaroo Bird and the Marine Muggs sculptures, or with the painting, Raising Money for the Arts; and just recently with these mirror image artworks—Greenish Cat on Pinkish Pot and Pinkish Cat on Greenish Pot, hidden away at the Dr. Seuss Estate.
Robert Bernstein, who worked with Ted at Random House for 32 years, once said: “While Ted is gone, he left Dr. Seuss behind him.” It is in that spirit that we address the “elephant (or in this case cats) in the room.” As only Dr. Seuss could, he veered far afield of convention and seated each cat, as the French would say, on a porcelain “pot de chamber”—a necessity which served mankind well for 2,500 years. Then, in an ever so slight move towards modesty, Ted be-ruffled his cats, subtly suggesting some form of dress. We can almost see Ted chuckling to himself as he drew this “privy” pair—his love affair with fun and cheekiness entirely intact.
Ted built his permanent home around the La Jolla Tower, making it his studio. Eventually, the Tower would also house the “Bone Pile,” Ted’s repository for artistic treasures.