Friday, December 20, 2013

Leota Woy (1867-1962)

Leota Woy was born on July 3, 1867, in New Castle, Indiana, and was in Colorado by 1888, where she attended the University of Colorado. In 1920 she moved to Los Angeles. Leota Woy seems to have devoted herself to the design of bookplates, postcards, and crests. I don't know of any other illustration credits for her, although she also worked in stained glass, embroidery, and needlework. She was a member of art clubs in Denver and southern California. Leota Woy died on January 23, 1962, in Glendale, California, at age ninety-four.

Leota Woy was most well known for her bookplates. This one was for the actor John Gilbert.
Here is a bookplate for Walter Sigfrid Olson. Note the vertical signature on the lower right.
During the picture postcard craze of the early 1900s, Leota Woy was a postcard designer. Her frog series from about 1910 was very popular.
Leota signed some of her designs with her initials encircling her copyright notice.
Leota also created a popular Valentine series of cards. This may have been one of the cards in that series.
This looks like a card from the same series.
Leota's design for a card of the Colorado columbine and the Denver Auditorium Building shows a completely different approach. 



Merry Christmas from
Indiana Illustrators & Hoosier Cartoonists!


Text and captions copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Florence G. Parsell (1891-after 1963)

Florence Gertrude Parsell was born on August 29, 1891, in Angola, Indiana. She illustrated her high school yearbook, The Spectator, and was a class historian, musician, and writer. Florence graduated from Angola High School in 1909 and from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1918 in an academic program. She was an art teacher in Angola and in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for many years (as early as 1910 and as late as 1943). Unfortunately I don't know her date or place of death, nor do I have any details about her career as an artist and illustrator. The website AskArt and others call her Florence Abbey Parsell. I don't know where that name comes from or whether it is correct. In 1951, Florence married Jesse O. Covell of Angola, and they resided on his farm until his death in 1957.

Art teacher, painter, and illustrator Florence G. Parsell in her natural environment, a high school classroom in Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1943.
I wonder if Florence's students of 1943 knew that she once looked like this: from a school program at the Art Institute of Chicago, 1917. (Photograph from the Chicago Tribune.)
And only a few years before, she was prim and proper, although that last part--"We have also found her a very delightful entertainer"--may have meant more than meets the eye. (Photograph from the Angola High School Spectator, 1909.)
An example of Florence Parsell's artwork, from The Spectator (1907), and just right for a Christmas season of 106 years later.

Text and captions copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Frank Snapp (1876-1927)

Son of a blacksmith, Frank Snapp was born on March 19, 1876, in Princeton, Indiana. He attended the Art Institute of Chicago and worked in Detroit, New York City, and Chicago as an illustrator of books, newspapers, and magazines. His illustrations were published in "Yours Truly" and One Hundred Other Original Drawings (Judge, 1908), The Long Arm of Mannister by E. Phillips Oppenheim (1908), Seven Keys to Baldpate by Earl Derr Biggers (1913), and other novels throughout the 1910s and 1920s. Some if not all of those were reprints from magazine and newspaper serials. Frank Snapp was a member of the Society of Illustrators from 1910 onward and was employed by the Charles Everett Johnson Studio for many years. His coworkers there included McClelland Barclay (1891-1942), Andrew Loomis (1892-1959), Harry Timmins (1887-1963), and a young Haddon Sundblom (1899-1976), who went on to fame by painting images of Santa Claus for Coca-Cola. Frank Snapp died on March 12, 1927, a week before his fifty-first birthday, and was buried in his hometown.


Indiana artist Frank Snapp worked during the Golden Age of Illustration in America when images like this one appeared weekly in newspapers and magazines. The illustration is for Maude Radford Warren's story "The Man Who Was Lost." It was printed more than a century ago, before the Great War, which abounded in images of men in military dress and women in candy-striped nurse's outfits.  
Here's a Frank Snapp illustration from an unknown source, dated 1908. The figures are a little stiff and conventional, a far cry from . . . 
This image from The Brute by Frederic Arnold Kummer (1912), dated just two years later (note "1910" in the upper right corner). The difference? The second image was obviously drawn from life, whereas the first may have been a work mostly of the imagination. Snapp won awards for his watercolors, a technique on full display here if only in black and white.  
Here is an undated watercolor or gouache painting, in color but curiously lacking in vibrancy.
I'll close with a far more colorful and accomplished work repeating the motif of the red parasol and the woman in the garden. Both are undated.
Text and captions copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley

Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving from
Indiana Illustrators and Hoosier Cartoonists!
Art by Franklin Booth

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Charles E. Bauerle (1912-1952)

Charles E. Bauerle was born in 1912 into a growing brood of Bauerle children. Eventually they would number at least nine. The Bauerle family made its home on the south side of Indianapolis. I don't know much about the artist, but in 1938-1939, at age twenty-six, he completed a series of murals on nautical subjects at the new Indianapolis Naval Armory (now Heslar Naval Armory). The armory was constructed under the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a federal agency that also employed Charles Bauerle. His murals showed the Bonne Homme Richard in action during the Revolutionary War, the victory of the Lawrence and the Niagara over the British fleet in the War of 1812 (currently commemorated on a U.S. postage stamp), the Battle of Manila Bay from the Spanish-American War, and the arrival of American destroyers at Queenstown, Ireland, in May 1917. Each of the murals was twelve by fifteen feet. I'm not sure that they're still in existence. The artist, Charles E. Bauerle (whose name has been misspelled as "Bauerley") died in 1952 and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Greenwood, Indiana.

On the left, a photograph of a mural by Charles E. Bauerle, taken at the Indianapolis Naval Armory in 1938-1939. The mural shows the arrival of American destroyers at Queenstown, Ireland, in May 1917. On the right, the artist, who was five years old when that event took place. From the Indianapolis Times, Jan. 7, 1939.

Text and captions copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley

Monday, October 7, 2013

Charles E. Barnes (1915-2005)

The men who conquered Fortress Europe and who stormed the beaches of the South Pacific--the men who survived the war and the sixty-eight years since--are in their waning years. We as a nation have honored them with a memorial in Washington, D.C. Our current commander-in-chief has dishonored them by attempting to keep them out, as if a few moveable barriers and a few yards of plastic tape could discourage men who long ago laid waste to world-spanning totalitarian regimes. In support of our veterans, I will write two postings this month, both on artists who drew and painted pictures of military action.

First, Charles E. Barnes, a Brown County artist born three years and a day before the first Armistice Day. Barnes was born in Chicago on November 10, 1915. The 1920 census found him with his family in Chicago. In 1930 and 1940, they were living in Richmond, Indiana. Barnes relocated to Indianapolis, perhaps sometime in the early 1940s. He taught at the Park School (now Park Tudor) in Indianapolis and kept a studio on McLean Place in the city. When war came, he answered his country's call.

In July 1945, after the war in Europe had ended, the Indianapolis Star published three drawings that PFC Charles E. Barnes had made at Monte Cassino the year before. Fighting had raged there throughout early 1944. The Allies bombed the abbey at Monte Cassino in February. One of Barnes' drawings is dated 1944. The other is undated. It's clear, though, that he was there shortly after the Germans finally withdrew in May. In the articles, Barnes was described as "a veteran of the North African and Italian campaigns."

Charles E. Barnes studied at the Herron School of Art, the Santa Monica School of Design, and the School of Modern Photography. Francis Chapin was among his instructors. In his fine art, executed before and after the war, Barnes was an abstract painter. More than fifty universities and museums, including the Indianapolis Museum of Art, held or hold his works. Barnes was art director at Argo Films in New York City and a charter member of the Creative Film Society in Hollywood. For many years he operated the Modern Art Center, later the Charles E. Barnes Art Center, located across from the entrance to Brown County State Park in Nashville, Indiana. Brown County is renowned for its fall color, its art colony, and of course as home to Kin Hubbard's wry observer of human folly, Abe Martin.

Charles Barnes died on March 31, 2005. He was eighty-nine years old.

Drawings made by PFC Charles E. Barnes at Monte Cassino, Italy, 1944, and published in 1945. From the Indianapolis Star, July 15 and 29, 1945.

Indiana artist Charles E. Barnes (1915-2005). From the Indianapolis Star, Oct. 9, 1969.
Text and captions copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley

Monday, September 30, 2013

Slug Signorino and "The Straight Dope"

"The Straight Dope," a question-and-answer column written by the rare and elusive Cecil Adams, has appeared in the Chicago Reader since 1973 and in syndication for some time since then. This year marks forty years of fighting ignorance by Mr. Adams, the world's smartest human. In that time, "The Straight Dope" has had but one illustrator, the equally elusive though less fictional Slug Signorino. Mr. Signorino is a Hoosier and lives in La Porte, Indiana. I believe I know his approximate year of birth and his real first name, but those facts are not really the point of my writing today. Instead I would like to direct readers to the website of "The Straight Dope" and the question of the day concerning television-watching habits of middle Americans. Robert Clark, subject of my posting from earlier today, thought enough of his home state to rename himself Robert Indiana. Cecil Adams seems to be less enamored of neighboring Indiana, for the last sentence of his current column reads:
If asked what's most likely to cause brain damage: daylight savings time, watching TV, or living in Indiana, I ain't going with DST.
I'll take that as a swipe at my home state and assume it's all in good fun. After all, Cecil Adams' illustrator lives in Indiana and he obviously does not exhibit any signs of brain damage.

Link:

Text copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley

Robert Indiana (b. 1928)

Pop artist Robert Indiana turns eighty-five this month. His career in art is the subject of a retrospective exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. Entitled "Robert Indiana: Beyond LOVE," the exhibit opened on September 26, 2013, and runs until January 5, 2014. Mr. Indiana created his iconic painting, called and spelling out the word LOVE, in 1966, the sesquicentennial year of his home state. He is known for his bold and brightly-colored pop-art imagery.

Robert Indiana was born Robert Clark on September 13, 1928, in New Castle, Indiana. He attended Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis (1942-1946) and served in the air force for three years before studying at the Art Institute of Chicago (1949-1953), the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine (summer 1953), and Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of Art (1953-1954). He returned to the United States in 1954 and settled in New York City. Since 1978, he has been a resident of Vinalhaven, Maine.

Links:
Robert Indiana's own website: Robert Indiana

Robert Indiana created an iconic image simply by stacking and tilting letters in his painting of 1966, entitled LOVE. In 1973, the U.S. Postal Service issued an 8-cent LOVE stamp. Happy eighty-fifth birthday to Robert Indiana and happy fortieth anniversary to the LOVE stamp.

Text and captions copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Robert W. Lahr (1890-1970)

Robert Wadsworth Lahr was born on February 18, 1890, in Evansville, Indiana. He received his education at the Art Students League in New York City and at the Art Institute of Chicago. Lahr served as director of the School of Fine and Applied Arts at James Milliken University in Decatur, Illinois. He was also a college professor in Pullman, Washington, perhaps at Washington State College (now University). The early 1940s found Lahr back in the city of his birth. He died there in January 1970.

I have found just one illustration credit for Robert W. Lahr, A Book of Giant Stories compiled by Kathleen Adams and Frances Elizabeth Atchinson, from 1926. The compilers wrote their introduction from Evansville. Unfortunately neither is listed in Indiana Books and Their Authors.

An illustration for "Mollie Whuppie" from A Book of Giant Stories.

And one for "The Selfish Giant" from the same book.
Text and captions copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley

Mac Heaton (1925-2002)

I would like to observe two anniversaries by remembering Indiana illustrator Mac Heaton. Tomorrow, September 1, 2013, is the seventy-fourth anniversary of the beginning of World War II. Next month, on September 20 through 23, the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue University will celebrate its centennial.

Malcolm C. "Mac" Heaton was born on June 29, 1925. As a child he lived in Bloomfield, Indiana, which may have been his place of birth. When he was in high school, Heaton received a few lessons from a commercial artist in his hometown. Otherwise he was mostly self taught. Heaton graduated from Bloomfield High School and went to work for the Indiana Department of Conservation in June 1945. Six months later he had his first illustrations printed in Outdoor Indiana magazine. His illustrations also appeared in a magazine published by Purdue University under the guidance of Howard Michaud, a longtime professor of forestry.

Eventually Mac Heaton worked his way up to be art director at the Indiana Department of Conservation, now the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. His illustrations appeared in Outdoor Indiana for many years. He also created designs for stamps and postcards, and he illustrated Escape from Corregidor by Edgar Whitcomb (1958), who later became governor. In his book, Gov. Whitcomb recounted the story of his escape from captivity during World War II. Unfortunately I don't have an image of Heaton's artwork for the governor's book.

Malcolm Heaton was married to Naomi Noel, a school teacher, in 1948. He died on January 1, 2002. She passed away nearly six years later. They are buried together in Carmel, Indiana.

Mac Heaton specialized in wildlife art. Here is his design for the Indiana Gamebird Habitat Stamp for 1980. It's worth noting that Heaton's home county, Greene County, passed one of the first conservation laws in Indiana, making it illegal to poison fish. The year was 1849.
A postcard design by Mac Heaton of Chief Simon Pokagon (1830-1899) of the  Potawatomi  tribe.
Text and captions copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Indiana Illustrators and Hoosier Cartoonists

Beginning today, I have changed the title of my blog to Indiana Illustrators and Hoosier Cartoonists. I have directed readers of my Hoosier Cartoonists blog to this updated blog. Welcome, readers and fans of cartoons and comics. I have covered a few cartoonists so far on Indiana Illustrators, including today's entry. There will be more to come. I will also continue to cover Indiana's illustrators. If you have any questions or comments, please email me at:


Thanks for reading.

Text copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley

Dick Wingert (1919-1993)

Richard Thomas "Dick" Wingert was born on January 15, 1919, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Although his father wanted Dick to follow him in the printing business, the young artist had other ideas. Dick Wingert's Indiana-born teacher, Eliot Porter, arranged for a three-year scholarship to the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis. Wingert started out in the fall semester of 1937 hoping to become an illustrator. His teacher, Paul Wehr, claimed Wingert as one of his best students. When Wingert's scholarship ended in 1940, he returned to his father's print shop and enlisted in the Army National Guard. Inducted in February 1941, Wingert shipped out a year later with the 34th Infantry Division, the first American division dispatched to the European Theater. Wingert was first billeted in Ireland and was assigned duties as a medical illustrator. Upon discovering that a revived Stars and Stripes was in the works, Wingert submitted some cartoons to an early weekly edition of the paper. By May of 1942, Wingert was transferred to the paper's main offices in London.

Once in London, Wingert began illustrating the Stars and Stripes humor column, "Hash Marks," and at the suggestion of reporter Sgt. G.K. Hodenfeld developed a character for a regular cartoon. "Hod and I went through my cartoons," Wingert remembered, "and selected the scuffiest [sic], oddest looking goof-off I'd drawn and named him 'Hubert'." Paired with a sidekick named Stanmore, Hubert made his way across Europe, dodging bullets, bombs, and any trouble he might run into with NCOs and MPs. Hubert was a favorite among GIs, many of whom preferred the cartoon dogface to Bill Mauldin's Willie and Joe. While on staff with Stars and Stripes, Mauldin met cartoonists Curt Swan, John Fischetti, Roy Doty, and Gill Fox, and journalist Andy Rooney. He also met William Randolph Hearst, Jr., who asked Wingert if he had ever considered syndicated cartooning. Whether he had or not, there was still a war on.

Wingert returned stateside not long after the war in Europe ended. Back in Cedar Rapids, he worked up samples of a civilian version of Hubert and shopped his character around to the syndicates. King Features gave him the go ahead, and Hubert made its debut on December 3, 1945. Hubert would become Wingert's life's work, running for almost four decades and outlasting many of its contemporaries from World War II.

Dick Wingert lived in Connecticut, the home of cartoonists, for many years. John Frost (a Hoosier) and Tex Blaisdell assisted Wingert on Hubert. Among Wingert's friends were fellow sports car fans Stan Drake (The Heart of Juliet Jones) and Alex Raymond (Rip Kirby). (Drake was riding with Raymond when Raymond was killed in a car crash in 1956.) Dick Wingert returned to Indiana in 1989 after nearly half a century away. The cartoonist settled in Nashville, home of Indiana's famed art colony, and continued drawing Hubert until his death on November 21, 1993, in Bloomington. Hubert came to its end exactly eight weeks later, a day after what would have been its author's seventy-fifth birthday.


Dick Wingert illustrated several books. His first was a collection of Hubert cartoons, published in London in 1944. Those first cartoons were drawn with a pencil on textured paper. Later, Wingert switched to ink and Benday patterns, also called film screens (below). 
Here's a cartoon from Wingert's second collection, called Hubert After "D" Day, issued by the same publisher in 1945 with a practically identical cover. Anyone who has served in the military, having learned the very important skill of sleeping "any damn place," can identify with Hubert.
Wingert also illustrated the "Think and Grin" page of Boys' Life magazine. Those pages were collected in book form in 1967 in The Cub Book.
Here's a page from The Cub Book. It's not the best page, but being a forester, I couldn't pass it up.
Text and captions copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Glenn O. Coleman (1881-1932)

Glenn Odem Coleman was born on July 18, 1881, in Springfield, Ohio, but grew up in his parents' home state of Indiana. His father, Cassius M. Coleman, was a pressman for an Indianapolis newspaper, his mother, Minnie Odem Coleman, a singer and pianist. As a boy Coleman hung around the riverfront on the west side of the city, in rail yards and around Kingan's meatpacking plant. The urbanized and industrialized landscape would become the focus of his art.

Glenn Coleman attended the Industrial Training School, forerunner to Manual Training High School. His classmates would have included illustrator Walter Jack Duncan (1881-1941), illustrator and author Robert Cortes Holliday (1880-1947), poster artist and performer Robert J. Wildhack (1881-1940), and artist and educator Harry E. Wood (1879-1958). Coleman did not finish his high school program however. Instead he went to work. In 1901 he was listed in the Indianapolis city directory as an illustrator with the Indianapolis Press. Three years later he was in New York City, also working as an illustrator. Coleman continued his art education in New York, studying first under William Merritt Chase, then under Robert Henri. Chase's other students at the time included not only Wildhack and Duncan from back home in Indiana, but also Rockwell Kent, Coles Phillips, Edward Hopper, and Guy Pene du Bois.

Glenn O. Coleman is known now for his association with Robert Henri, Everett Shinn, John Sloan, and the other artists of the "Ashcan School," so called because of their interest in city scenes and the grimier side of life. In 1909 The Craftsman printed four full-page reproductions of Coleman's series entitled "Undercurrents of New York Life." Within a few short years, the artist began contributing to the leftist organ The Masses under the editorship of Max Eastman and the art directorship of John Sloan. Art Young (1866-1944) was probably the most well known and accomplished of the cartoonists who contributed to The Masses. He may also have originated the term "Ashcan School."

For the rest of his relatively brief life, Glenn Coleman created paintings and graphic art depicting contemporary life in the city. His work found its way into the collections of several museums, including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Brooklyn Museum. In the year of Coleman's death, art critic Holger Cahill placed him in the company of John Sloan as a leader among realists "whose notations of contemporary life in paintings, etchings, and lithographs are among the fine contributions to American contemporary art."

After keeping a studio in Long Beach, Long Island, for many years, Glenn O. Coleman died childless on May 8, 1932, at age fifty. His father, a widower, died three months later, thus bringing an end to the Coleman line.

A cartoon by Glenn O. Coleman from The Masses, 1915. The medium looks like crayon on textured paper or perhaps on linen. The style is dark and heavy and hearkens back to the lithographic cartoons of the nineteenth century. HonorĂ© Daumier was the exemplar of that type of cartooning. The gag is the old "He Said-She Said" type from before the refinements brought about by The New Yorker and its cartoonists of the 1920s.
Here's another cartoon by Coleman, really an illustration for an unwritten story or even a piece of graphic art approaching fine art. The gag, though pertinent today, is mostly superfluous. This is from Art for the Masses: A Radical Magazine and Its Graphics, 1911-1917 by Rebecca Zurier (1988).
Text and captions copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Alice Claire Hollingsworth (1907-2000)

Alice Claire Hollingsworth was born on February 12, 1907, in Indiana, probably in Indianapolis. Her father was a clerk in city hall, her mother a dressmaker. Alice's older sister, Helen Hollingsworth, taught music in public schools. I don't know where Alice C. Hollingsworth received her art education, but in the 1930 census, she gave her occupation as "commercial artist." Alice worked in an electric shop.

Alice Claire Hollingsworth is listed on the website AskArt as an illustrator and an exhibitor at the Hoosier Salon. Unfortunately, there is very little information on her career as an artist and no images that I have found so far. Alice is more well known under a completely different identity, as a philanthropist and matron of the arts named Holly Magill.

Holly Magill was the wife of Arthur Francis Magill (1907-1995), heir to a garment business called Her Majesty Industries. In 1976, Magill sold his business to Gulf & Western for about eighteen million dollars. Three years later, Magill and his wife shocked and surprised the art world when he bought a collection of works by Andrew Wyeth, owned until then by movie executive Joseph E. Levine, and lent them to the Greenville County Museum of Art for display. The move attracted such attention that Magill received a writeup in People magazine (Jan. 21, 1980). A decade later, Magill sold his collection of twenty-six Wyeths to a Japanese buyer for forty-two million dollars.

Both Magill and his wife were recognized for their philanthropy. Holly Magill received the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina's highest civilian honor, in 1982, and an honorary degree in humanities from Furman University in 1998. (Her husband received the Order of the Palmetto a month after his wife's award.) There is (or was) a gallery named in Holly's honor at the Greenville County Museum of Art in Greenville, South Carolina.

Alice Claire "Holly" Magill died on April 19, 2000, in Greenville and was buried in her adopted home city.

Text copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mary Alys Polk (ca. 1903-?)

Mary Alys Polk was born in about 1903 in Greenwood, Indiana, to Burr H. and Carrie Polk. Her sister, Helen M. Polk, was younger by a year. The family lived in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Indianapolis, where Mr. Polk was a working man. Mary Alys Polk (also called Mary Alice Polk) graduated from Technical High School (now Arsenal Technical High School) in 1921 and studied at the Herron School of Art from 1921 to 1926. She also studied at the Grand Central School of Art in New York City in the summer of 1926. She taught at Tudor Hall in 1924 before moving on to teach drawing and art at the Indiana State School for the Deaf, also in 1924. In 1927, Mary Alys took a position as supervisor of art for the Franklin, Indiana, schools. She resigned that position in 1929 to marry Wallace Stover, an Indiana artist then living in New York City. Mary Alys Polk was a painter, illustrator, and costume designer, and she exhibited in the Hoosier Salon. Mary Alys Polk Stover is supposed to have lived in China Lake, California, in the 1960s. And that's all I know of her.


Revised April 12, 2016.

Copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley

Saturday, May 4, 2013

May the Fourth Be With You!

Splinter of the Mind's Eye by Alan Dean Foster (1978), the first Star Wars novel, with cover art by Indiana illustrator Ralph McQuarrie.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Frank H. Wagner (1870-1942) & Mary North Wagner (1875-?)

In doing my research for today's posting, I was reminded of an exchange from What's Up, Doc? (1972):

Hugh: I am Hugh.
Judge Maxwell: You are me?
Hugh: No, I am Hugh.
Judge Maxwell: Stop saying that. Make him stop saying that.

What does a screwball comedy from the 1970s have to do with Indiana illustrators? Only this: If you look for a Hoosier artist named Frank U. Wagner, you'll end up going down the wrong path and for a very long way. In the end, you will be lost. And why is that? Because the artist's name was not Frank U. Wagner, as people even from his own time often believed, but Frank Hugh Wagner.

Frank Hugh Wagner was born on January 4, 1870, in Milton, Indiana. A painter, sculptor, illustrator, and teacher, he studied at the Art Institute of Chicago under Frederick Freer (1849-1908) and John Vanderpoel (1857-1911). Wagner exhibited at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915 and with the Hoosier Salon. Wagner also taught art--including illustration and cartooning--at Winona College in Winona Lake, Indiana, during its brief existence in the early 1900s.

Although Frank Wagner's name can be found here and there on the Internet, he is not well remembered. I can offer on his behalf two claims to fame. First, Wagner applied for and received a patent for a type of picture book now called a "tunnel book." Rather than explain the concept, I'll just show an image from the Official Gazette of the U.S. Patent Office, dated June 11, 1912 (page 322):


The Hole Book by Peter Newell (1862-1924), published in 1908, the same year in which Wagner applied for his patent, is a similar type of book. I don't know whether Frank Wagner ever published a tunnel book, but at least he received a patent for just such a design. Note the name on the patent: "Frank U. Wagner."

Second, Frank H. Wagner drew the illustrations for Ten Little Brownie Men: The Second Brownie Book (1911), which was written by a brother-and-sister team, Nathaniel Moore Banta and Alpha Banta Benson. The Brownies, created by the Canadian illustrator and cartoonist Palmer Cox (1840-1924), were wildly popular in books, magazines, and newspaper comics of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I'm not sure what relationship if any the Bantas had with Palmer Cox. In any case, Nathaniel M. Banta and Alpha Banta Benson of Renssalaer, Indiana, are subject for a blog posting of another day.

Frank Wagner was married to Mary Lovett North, an illustrator, painter, book designer, and lecturer in her own right. She was born on December 24, 1875, in Milford, Kosciusko County, Indiana. Her parents were Captain Samson Jackson North, a lawyer and a Civil War veteran, and Mary A. Egbert North. Mary L. North was also descended from David Grosset Drake (1759-1850), a private in the New York troops during the Revolutionary War. Like her husband, Mary L. North Wagner studied at the Art Institute of Chicago under Freer and Vanderpoel and exhibited at the Panama-Pacific Exposition and with the Hoosier Salon. Among her other teachers was the Hoosier artist William Merritt Chase (1849-1916). Mary also exhibited with the Chicago Society of Miniature Painters.

Alone or with her husband, Mary North Wagner wrote and illustrated a children's book called The Adventures of Jimmy Carrot (1911). She also wrote the lyrics for a song called "The Brownie" (music by Maude L. McLaughlin). The 1930 census listed Mary as a lecturer in art.

Frank and Mary Wagner lived in Milford, Indiana, and in Chicago and raised a large brood of seven children. Frank Wagner died on July 21, 1942, in Chicago. The date of his widow's death is unknown.

The cover, title page, and endpapers for Ten Little Brownie Men: The Second Brownie Book (1911) by N. Moore Banta and Alpha Banta Benson and illustrated by Frank U. Wagner. ("Stop saying that. Make him stop saying that.") Note that the lyrics to the Brownie song are by Mary North Wagner.

Text and captions copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Raymond E. Lanterman (1916-1994)

Raymond E. Lanterman was born on May 20, 1916, in Howard County, Indiana, presumably in Kokomo. His parents were Harry W. Lanterman, a chemist and draftsman, and Minnie A. (Brown) Lanterman. Ray Lanterman graduated from the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and worked in Chicago as a commercial artist before enlisting in the U.S. Army in October 1940. His place of enlistment was Fort Benjamin Harrison, northeast of Indianapolis. According to the newsletter of the Polynesian Voyaging Society (Feb.-Mar. 1994), Lanterman was present at the attack on Pearl Harbor and took part in the invasion at Normandy. Lanterman achieved the rank of first lieutenant and settled in Hawaii in the 1940s. It is for his books on Hawaii that he is known today.

In addition to being a commercial artist and illustrator, Ray E. Lanterman was president of the Hawaiian Astronomical Society and the head of the membership committee of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. He was also the co-author of books, either as a writer or illustrator or both. His credits include:
  • Aunty Pinau's Banyan Tree (1967) by Helen Lamar Berkey
  • What's My Name in Hawaiian? (1967) by Louise Bonner
  • The Secret Cave of Kamanawa (1968) by Helen Lamar Berkey
  • Incredible Hawaii (1974) with Terence Barrow
  • Twelve Sky Maps (1974) with Will Kyselka
  • Maui--How It Came To Be (1980) with Will Kyselka
  • More Incredible Hawaii (1986) with Terence Barrow

Raymond E. Lanterman died on January 23, 1994, in Honolulu. A recipient of the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Service Cross (for actions on D-Day), he was buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in the city of his death. You can read more about him on my blog, Book Jacket Bios.

A selection of Raymond Lanterman's books, mostly about Hawaii.

Text copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The First Art School in Indiana

No one can say for sure who was the first Indiana artist, illustrator, or cartoonist. However, in a book called American Pioneer Arts and Artists (1942), the author, Carl W. Drepperd, is unequivocal about the date, place, and founder of the Hoosier State's first school of art:
At New Harmony, Indiana, William McClure opened the first school for drawing, painting, engraving and lithography in the state, 1826. Charles Alexander [sic] Lesueur was the art teacher at the New Harmony School, 1826 to 1837.
William McClure (1763-1840) was a Scottish-born geologist, cartographer, merchant, and educator. He is known as "the father of American geology." If a map is an illustration, then McClure might be considered one of the earliest of Indiana illustrators. He made a geological map of the United States published in 1809 and 1817. In the mid 1820s, he settled in Robert Owen's Utopian community of New Harmony, Indiana, and established a school for adults. Charles Alexandre Lesueur (1778-1846), the art teacher at New Harmony, was a French artist and naturalist and a friend of William McClure. He also served as a kind of unofficial artist of the New Harmony experiment. Also in residence at New Harmony was David Dale Owen (1807-1860), son of Robert Owen and a geologist and artist.

The community at New Harmony received visitors in the winter of 1832-1833 in the persons of  Prinz Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied (1782-1867), a German aristocrat, explorer, naturalist, and ethnologist, and the artist Johann Carl Bodmer, better known Karl Bodmer (1809-1893). Bodmer was a painter, graphic artist, and illustrator. His work as such would place him in a category as one of Indiana's first illustrators, along with McClure, Lesueur, and Robert Dale Owen.

In his book, Drepperd mentions another early art school within a "female seminary" (the Monroe County Female Academy), located in Bloomington and maintained by Cornelius Pering from 1832 to 1849. Pering, an English-born educator, was born in 1806 and died in 1881.

Mollusks and zoophytes, drawn by Charles Alexandre Lesueur, one of the first Indiana illustrators. This drawing is from 1807, prior to Lesueur's arrival in the Hoosier State.
A drawing of the eastern quoll or eastern native cat (Dasyurus viverrinus), an Australian marsupial, also by Lesueur (date unknown).
Text and captions copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley

Marian Crane (1903-1982)

Marian Crane was born on December 19, 1903, in Crawfordsville, a small city once known as "the Athens of Indiana." Marian came from a prominent family. Her father, Benjamin Crane, was a lawyer. Her maternal grandfather, John Lyle Campbell (1827-1904), was a professor of astronomy and physics at Wabash College and according to the book Montgomery County Remembers (1976), "the man generally credited with having suggested the Centennial celebration of the United States in 1876." Marian Crane's mother was Mary F. Campbell Crane (1867-1943), a musician and a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Indiana Pioneers, and the local history society.

Marian Crane married James Jamieson Paterson (1899-1972) in 1927, the same year in which he began teaching economics at Wabash College. The following year, Marian drew a map of her home city (below), emphasizing landmarks associated with the college. (Note the drawing of a young woman at the bottom center of the map. The legend reads: "To Greencastle and Bloomington and the Co-eds." For those who don't know it, Wabash was and still is an all-male college.) In 1976, the Montgomery County Historical Society and the Crawfordsville Community Bicentennial Committee published Marian's map in the book Montgomery County Remembers. An image of the map appears below. As you might guess, the map forms the endpapers of the book.

Marian Crane Paterson died in February 1982 in Philadelphia and was buried in Crawfordsville.


Text copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Underground Railroad

Charles T. Webber (1825-1911) was not an Indiana artist, nor is his painting, "The Underground Railroad," set in Indiana. However, two of Webber's subjects, Levi Coffin (1798-1877) and his wife, Catherine White Coffin, were Hoosiers, having lived in Indiana from 1826 to 1847. Coffin's house, located in Newport (now Fountain City), Indiana, was a way station on the Underground Railroad and is now a National Historic Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. For his work, Coffin was considered "the President of the Underground Railroad."

Artist Charles T. Webber, born on Christmas Day, 1825, in Cayuga County, New York, was a well known and accomplished artist in his adopted home city of Cincinnati. He painted "The Underground Railroad" to commemorate the work of the Coffins and other abolitionists. Webber considered the painting to be his masterpiece and exhibited it at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. That would make this year the 120th anniversary of "The Underground Railroad." The Cincinnati Art Museum acquired the painting after Webber's death in 1911 and holds it in their collections. So is it illustration or is it fine art? If illustration contains a narrative and fine art does not, then isn't most if not all art illustration? Does the distinction really matter?


Text copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley