Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Josephine Hollingsworth (1903 or 1904-1964)

Josephine Hollingsworth was born in 1903 or 1904 in Lebanon, Indiana, and as a child lived in New Castle and Indianapolis. She attended the John Herron School of Art in Indianapolis and graduated in 1926 after four years of study, making her one of the first class at Herron to receive a Diploma in Fine Arts (DFA). As a student and after graduating, Josephine taught art at Beech Grove, Shortridge High School, and George and Gordon Mess' Circle Art Academy. She also studied with Carolyn Ashbrook and Indiana University extension.

In 1929, Josephine set out for Chicago where she landed a job with a publisher of children's books. Her illustrations appeared in a book on natural history, a series of twelve readers for children, all fairy tales, and Pioneer Fire Makers by Bella VanAmburgh. Josephine also did advertising art for Indianapolis businessman Russell Fortune for publication in Good Furniture magazine. While in Chicago, Josephine continued her education at the Art Institute of Chicago.

On May 4, 1930, she married Howard Ross Poulson in Indianapolis. They had two children, Thomas Layman Poulson (b. 1934), a professor of biology at Yale University, and Carolyn Jo (Poulson) Hofstad. (See the comment below.) Jo Poulson lived with her family in Winnetka, Illinois, and Manhasset, New York. (See the postscript below.) She died on March 5, 1964, while visiting her mother in Miami, Florida.

A bookplate design by Indiana illustrator Josephine Hollingsworth.

Postscript (Dec. 6, 2012): I have found a little more on Josephine Hollingsworth Poulson, also known as Jo Poulson. After moving to the Chicago area and marrying H. Ross Poulson, Jo studied watercolor painting under Francis Chapin, a well known Chicago artist and a teacher at the Herron School of Art (1938). In March 1942, she returned to Indianapolis for a one-woman show of her watercolors at the Hoosier Art Galleries in the State Life Building. Prior to that, she had exhibited in the Hoosier Salon. She painted not only landscapes but also street scenes, circus scenes, and subjects as varied as a floral still life and a navy destroyer. At the time of her one-woman show, Jo Poulson was living in Winnetka, Illinois, and rearing a family.

This watercolor by Jo Poulson is in the collection of the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Postscript dated December 6, 2012.
Revised and updated on December 6, 2019.
Text and captions copyright 2012, 2019 Terence E. Hanley

Monday, April 23, 2012

William F. Heitman (1878-1945)

William Fred Heitman was born on January 31, 1878, in Germany and came to the United States as a young child with his parents. As a boy, Heitman lived in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne. He went to work for the Van Camp Company as a sign painter and decided then to become an artist. Heitman studied at the Indiana School of Art under William Forsyth and worked for the Indiana Illustrating Company. He landed a job as an illustrator with the Indianapolis News in about 1897 and spent the rest of his career doing layouts, illustrating feature stories, and drawing cartoons and caricatures for newspapers in Indianapolis, Cleveland, and St. Louis. Other artists with whom he worked included Sidney Smith (later of The Gumps), Johnny Gruelle (Raggedy Ann), and his close friend, Chic Jackson, creator of Roger Bean. Heitman also illustrated two books of verse by James Whitcomb Riley, the book Indianapolitans "As We See 'Em" (ca. 1905), and the magazine Weird Tales. Known as one of the fastest newspaper artists in the Midwest, Heitman competed with Chic Jackson when it came to beating a deadline. At the drawing board he always wore his hat. Like his friend Johnny Gruelle, Heitman made Sunday fishing trips to Sugar Creek near Edinburgh, Indiana, a place now within Camp Atterbury. Heitman continued to work for the Indianapolis Star until retiring in 1943. He died in Miami, Florida, the home city of his daughter, on January 10, 1945. His body was returned to Indianapolis for burial.

Weird Tales, May 1923, the third issue of the magazine, with cover art by William F. Heitman. 
And the cover for the fourth issue, June 1923.
An illustration for a poem by the Indiana poet Tramp Starr (Carl Wilson) from the Indianapolis Star, January 7, 1940. 
And a drawing from the same paper illustrating a feature on the Mechanic Arts School in Evansville, Indiana, May 5, 1940.

Text and captions copyright 2012 by Terence E. Hanley