GUS VAN. Vintage 8×10 glossy light sepia tone half-length portrait, boldly signed and inscribed in black fountain pen, “To Betty/With my best/to you, your uncle/is a swell guy./Sincerely/Gus Van.” Fine condition, with noticeable creasing in the borders and scattered mild handling bends and dings within the image. Gus Van formed half of the vaudeville team Van and Schenck. He and partner Joe Schenck enjoyed enormous popularity from 1910-1930, making recordings and appearing on Broadway, radio, and the 1929 MGM musical, They Learned About Women.” They were known for their comic patter songs, with Van’s booming baritone often assuming various ethnic accents, accompanied on the piano by Schenck, who also harmonized in a sweet, high tenor. Following Schenck’s sudden death in 1930 of a heart attack at age 39, Van pursued a solo career, but never achieving the same level of popularity he had enjoyed as part of a team. Several early talkie shorts featuring Van and Schenck performing some of their signature routines are available for viewing on Youtube.