Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Last of 2016

I had plans to continue with my series on firsts in Indiana art, but as plans do, this one went awry. This past year has not been a bad year. I can't really complain. But it has been a tiring and frustrating year. I hope that you have had better, and I hope that we will all have better in 2017. I have to admit that my writing on line will be far less in 2017 than in 2016. I will continue to write, but not on such a schedule as before. In any case, thanks for reading, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

Terence Hanley

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Firsts in Indiana Art-Part Two

The First Known Artist in Indiana--According to author Fred D. Cavinder in his compilation The Indiana Book of Records, Firsts, and Fascinating Facts (1985), "the earliest art on record in Indiana" is a wash drawing made by Governor Henry Hamilton of a rock formation along the Wabash River near what is now Logansport. Mr. Cavinder gives the year of composition as 1777. What must surely be the same work is shown in Mirages of Memory: 200 Years of Indiana Art, Volume I (1977), a catalogue of an exhibition from 1976-1977. That catalogue states that Hamilton composed his picture in 1778 rather than 1777. Here are some details:
     In October of 1778, Hamilton led an expedition of about 230 men southwest from Detroit to Fort Sackville [located in Vincennes in what is now Indiana], then in the hands of colonist sympathizers. The troops travelled by canoe, carrying a heavy load of provisions and arms. The journey was a backbreaking two-and-one-half month struggle with swampy portages, rapids, rain, snow, and accidents. During this time, Hamilton kept an extensive journal documenting the campaign and made a number of sketches directly from the landscape.
     The work included in the exhibition, Shiprock, Wabash River (no. 21), does not appear to be far removed from the military tradition of factual representation. The military man's eye for details is also revealed in Hamilton's journal entry concerning this location. His careful descriptions, in text and sketch, allowed later generations to recognize the exact location of the scene which is near present-day Logansport.
     The sketch of the shiprock reveals that Hamilton understood pictorial representation. The work was done by a man who obviously grasped the principles of design and space, and who was familiar with landscape traditions. This suggests that Hamilton's work was more than a military record. [p. 20]
In other words, Governor Hamilton's drawing may have been more than a mere tool; it may also have been a work of art, and because it no longer has any military or topographic utility, Shiprock, Wabash River may exist now only as a work of art, or at the very least as a historical document. I should add this unequivocal sentence from later in Mirages of Memory: "[Shiprock, Wabash River, 1778] is the earliest known drawing produced in the area now known as Indiana," very likely the source of Fred Cavinder's information. (p. 55) The original source for both accounts may have been Wilbur D. Peat's seminal Pioneer Painters of Indiana (Art Association of Indianapolis, 1954).

There were Europeans in Indiana before Henry Hamilton. The earliest visitors were explorers, traders, and military men, but by the early eighteenth century, there were trading posts or small settlements as well. Again, it seems likely to me that there were artists among the earliest European visitors to Indiana, even if all they drew were maps. We'll have to go with what we have, though, and call Henry Hamilton the first known artist in Indiana, meaning, more precisely, the first artist to create a work of art in what is now Indiana. We can also call him the first watercolorist and the first creator of a landscape in the state. The irony is that Hamilton was a villain in Indiana, a man known as the "Hair-buyer General" for his alleged policy of buying the scalps of white settlers from the Indians who took them. Luckily for us, George Rogers Clark put Hamilton in his place by capturing Fort Sackville and Hamilton himself in 1779.

Shiprock, Wabash River, 1778, by Henry Hamilton, a drawing of 8-3/8 x 10-3/4 inches, drawn in pencil, wash, and ink, and the first known work of art created in what is now Indiana, from Mirages of Memory: 200 Years of Indiana Art, Volume I (University of Notre Dame, 1977).
The Fall of Fort Sackville by Frederick Coffay Yohn of Indianapolis, a canvas completed in 1923 and later adapted to a commemorative U.S. postage stamp on the sesquicentennial of the event. There are counties in Indiana named Clark and Hamilton. Clark County is named of course for George Rogers Clark, shown here on the left. Hamilton County is not named for Henry Hamilton, however, the figure on the right. Note that Clark and his men are rough, informal, and common, while Hamilton and his men are upright and dressed in finery. This image encapsulates, I think, the idea of America, of the people fighting for and securing their rights against arbitrary--and elitist--power.
Text and captions copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Firsts in Indiana Art-Part One

Today, December 11, 2016, is the two-hundredth birthday of the great State of Indiana. In observance of the Indiana Bicentennial, I would like to begin a series on firsts in Indiana art, a series to carry through to the end of the birth month and birth year of the Hoosier State. My sources will include those listed on a new page called "Bibliography," accessible by clicking on tabs on the right and at the top of this page. I invite additions, corrections, and speculations to and on this list of Firsts in Indiana Art.

The First Artist in What Is Now Indiana--No one knows who was the first artist in what is now the State of Indiana, for that person's name or identity is lost in prehistory. (From here on out, I'll shorten "What is now Indiana" to just "Indiana.") According to various sources, the first people in Indiana were of the Paleo-Indian Period (or Tradition) of 8000 to 6000 B.C. These are believed to have been wandering hunters in pursuit of big game. They left behind them expertly made fluted points of chert and chalcedony, artifacts of an obviously utilitarian purpose but of an equally obvious aesthetic quality. These were tools, however, and not specifically works of art.

The Paleo-Indian Period was followed by the Archaic or Meso-Indian Period (or Tradition) of 4000 to 2000, 1000, or 400 BC, depending on which source you consult. Indians of the Archaic Period are also supposed to have been wanderers. They made points of stone, too, but the artifacts most closely associated with them are shell mounds or middens, the castoff remains of freshwater mussels hunted or harvested for their meat. I should point out that the harvesting of mussels for mother-of-pearl buttons and other items, as well as for freshwater pearls, was a craze in Indiana during the early twentieth century. I think it extremely likely that American Indians of the Archaic Period would have recognized the potential for making decorative items from mussel shells and pearls, too. In fact, archaeologists have found shell (and copper) beads in graves dating from the Archaic Period in Indiana. Whether these were the earliest decorative or artistic rather than simply utilitarian artifacts in Indiana is, by my sources, an unanswered question.

The Woodland Indian Period (or Tradition), which ended with European contact, was marked by the development of agriculture and permanent and semi-permanent settlements, among other advances. In his booklet An Introduction to the Prehistory of Indiana (Indiana Historical Society, 1983), James H. Kellar was more explicit: "The Woodland Tradition is basically defined by the presence of pottery containers with surfaces distinguished by cord impressions or other decorations applied using a flat paddle-like tool." (p. 35) Note the word decorations. A roughened surface makes a pot or container easier to handle. (My supposition.) It's a short step from a roughened surface--a utilitarian development--to a decorated roughened surface--an aesthetic or artistic development. In any event, with pottery-making came a surface upon which decorations--art--could be made and which might survive into the historical period, including to the present day.

It's safe, then, to say by the archaeological record that the first artist in Indiana was probably from the Archaic Period, certainly by the time of pottery-making in the Woodland Indian Period, in which case that artist may very well have been a woman. Being an artist, I would go further than that. The people of the Paleo-Indian Period were people--they were human beings. One defining characteristic of us as human beings is our creativity, not just for solving problems in everyday life but also for expressing ourselves and for communicating what we apprehend about the world and about ourselves and our existence. With that in mind, I feel confident in saying that the first artist in Indiana was among the first people in Indiana, setting foot here 10,000 or more years ago.

Late Paleo Indian-Early Archaic Blades, presumably from the period 8000 BC and after, from An Introduction to the Prehistory of Indiana by James H. Kellar (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1983), p. 28. Fluted points are among the earliest surviving artifacts of people in Indiana. Although strictly utilitarian in nature, they have an undeniable aesthetic quality. Their production would have required a combination of technological innovation, manual dexterity, and visualization of an ideal, all requisite for the creation of art. Is there any reason to believe that Paleo Indians would not also have created works of art?

Middle Woodland Pottery, presumably from the period 1000 B.C. to 1000 A.D., from the same booklet (p. 45). Here are obvious works of art, a clay figurine that does not appear to have had a utilitarian purpose, and the decorative surfaces of clay pots. Having done only a cursory search for cave painting in Indiana, I can't say that there is any known art of that type in the state. Nonetheless, pottery, though not two-dimensional, offered early Indians a surface upon which they could create decorations. It's no surprise that their decorations would take the form of patterns imposed upon, if not recognized in, nature.

Text copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley

Friday, November 25, 2016

Eugene Chase Cassady (1891 or 1892-1966)

Eugene Chase Cassady was born on November 21, 1891 or 1892, in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Ulysses G. and Minnie B. Cassady. Ulysses G. Cassady, also known as U.G. Cassady, was a self-taught artist, an inventor, and a manufacturer of art glass and automobile headlight glass. He worked at the Primolite Company, the Indianapolis Art Glass Company, and U.G. Cassady and Sons, "Designers and Manufacturers of Art Glass for Church, Residence and Public Buildings," all in Indianapolis. His son Eugene C. Cassady attended Manual Training High School in Indianapolis, known for its art program, under the direction of Otto Stark. Cassady entered Butler University in 1911 but left before completing his education to take up studies at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis (1910-1913). His teachers included William Forsyth, Otto Stark, and Clifton Wheeler. As an artist he called himself Chase Cassady, also E. Chase Cassady.

When war came, Cassady answered his nation's call, joining the 1st Battalion Engineers of the Indiana National Guard. He later enlisted in the U.S. Army aviation corps. On June 10, 1919, he married Edna Novella Gliem in Washington, D.C. The enumerator of the census of 1920 found Cassady and his wife living with his parents and his brother on Woodruff Place in Indianapolis. Both Ulysses and Eugene were employed as manufacturers of art glass. Both were also listed in Mary Q. Burnet's Art and Artists of Indiana (1921). And both exhibited their work in their home city. In 1922, E. Chase Cassady painted "Conference on the Limitation of Armament" for the Daughters of the American Revolution, a canvas to be hung in Memorial Hall in Washington, D.C. By 1930, Cassady was in Highland Park, New Jersey, and working as a self-employed illustrator. In his draft card of 1942, he called himself an illustrator and industrial designer. I know very little about Cassady's career as an illustrator except that he contributed to Liberty (Sept. 16, 1939) and Scribner's (as of 1925). Eugene Chase Cassady died in July 1966, presumably in or near Highland Park, New Jersey.

A poor reproduction of an illustration by Eugene Chase Cassady from Scribner's, circa 1925.

Update (July 30, 2017): A much better image showing Chase Cassady's progression from an old-fashioned to a slick, glamorous style. From the Cincinnati Inquirer, January 2, 1938.

Text copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley

Monday, November 21, 2016

George A. Shealy (1910-1988)

George Allyn Shealy was born on March 4, 1910, in Chicago, Illinois, to Otto C. Shealy, a grocer, and Katherine C. Shealy, a music teacher. By the time he was just seven weeks old, Shealy was already a Hoosier, for his family lived in the Whitley County town of Churubusco when the enumerator of the Federal census came around in April 1910.

George Shealy went to Churubusco High School, where he was in the Boys Glee Club and the school orchestra. After graduation, he matriculated at Indiana University under a scholarship (1927-1928) and was a member of the class of 1931 (although I'm not sure that he graduated from that institution). His art education consisted of three years at the Art Institute of Chicago; five summers at the Ox-Bow School of Art in Saugatuck, Michigan; and studies under the muralist John Warner Nolton (1876-1934) of Illinois.

A summary of Shealy's career, from The U.S Air Force: A Pictorial History by James J. Haggerty and Warren Reiland Smith (New York: Spartan Books, 1966):
[George A. Shealy] taught art at Todd School for Boys, Woodstock, Illinois; designed and built sets for summer theater with Orson Welles and Hilton Edwards of the Gate Theatre, Dublin; and taught at St. Ambrose College, Davenport, Iowa. He was in the Army Combat Engineers in World War II and at the request of the Office of War Information he was sent to London to be art director on publications. Shealy set up his own studio in 1950 as a free lance art director and illustrator and later became head of the Department of Art, Queens College, Charlotte, North Carolina. (p. 260)
Shealy served two years in the U.S. Army during and after the war, from January 21, 1944, to February 19, 1946. He was married to Dr. Joyce H. Shealy, a psychologist. George A. Shealy died on August 27, 1988, in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was seventy-eight years old.

"K-14 at Kimpo, Korea" by George A. Shealy.

The cover of Print: The Magazine of the Graphic Arts, June 1952 (Vol. 7, No. 3) with a cover design by Shealy, who was also credited as art director.

George Allyn Shealy and his wife, Dr. Joyce H. Shealy, circa 1962. Photo courtesy of Everett Library Special Collections, Queens University of Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina.

Original text copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley

Friday, November 18, 2016

George C. "Bob" Bales (1920-2016)

George Carson Bales, nicknamed Bob, was born on April 5, 1920, in Terre Haute, Indiana. His parents were William F. Bales (1891-1960), a farmer, and Beatrice Myer Bales (1896-1977), a farmer's wife and a postmistress at the Dana, Indiana, post office for thirty-seven years. Bob had an older brother, Jack Truitt Bales (1918-2011), who was an aviator, engineer, and real estate developer. You can read more about him on the website Find A Grave, here.

In addition to their many accomplishments on their own, the Bales brothers had connections to fame and accomplishment through their family. They are descended from Mordecai Beall (1739-?), who served in a Maryland military unit during the Revolutionary War. (Beall's son William changed the spelling of the family name.) They are also descended from Thomas White, a member of the Boston Tea Party. Hoosiers will recognize Dana, where Beatrice Bales worked as postmistress, as the hometown of war correspondent and author Ernie Pyle (1900-1945). According to Pyle's biographer, Jack and Bob Bales are the step-grandsons of Pyle's Aunt Mary Bales. (1) It was from Pyle that Bob Bales received his first set of oil paints, a Christmas gift in 1931. Pyle visited his relative Jack Bales, who called him "Uncle Shag," in the South Pacific during World War II and wrote about eating fried chicken from Indiana, canned by Aunt Mary and sent halfway around the world.

The Bales family lived in Vermillion County, the skinniest county in Indiana, when the boys were young. Both Jack and Bob matriculated at the University of Illinois, Jack to study law and Bob to study art under visiting portraitist Robert Philipp (1895-1981). (2) Bob went on to study portraiture under Will Foster (1882-1953) in Los Angeles, and under Robert Brackman (1898-1980) in New York City. (3)

Bob Bales graduated from the University of Illinois in 1941 and went into the U.S. Army. During World War II, he flew C-46s in the European Theatre. He was also qualified as a pilot and observer on B-24s. (Jack Bales was also an aviator during the war and served in the South Pacific.) Separating in December 1945, Bob studied art in Los Angeles and went to work for the Walt Disney studios on the strength of just one drawing he carried to his job interview. He worked as an illustrator on Song of the South (1946), the Little Toot and Pecos Bill segments of Melody Time (1948), and The Wind in the Willows (1949).

Bob returned to active duty in 1947 and served as a pilot in the southeast and east Asia region, deploying to the Philippines in 1950 with the 18th Fighter-Bomber Wing. In July 1950, at the start of the Korean War, he volunteered to go to the peninsula, where he helped establish a forward airfield, only to tear it down again as North Korean and Chinese forces advanced on the position. He was the only professional artist on the peninsula during that first hard winter. Using Jeep gas as paint thinner, he executed eight rapid-fire canvases, reducing his brushes to mere nubs in the process. Bob's Korean paintings were later part of a group of canvases he donated to the U.S. Air Force.

From 1952 to 1963, Bob was instrumental in the development of the U.S. Air Force art program, eventually serving as chief and retiring in 1963 as a lieutenant colonel. He joined the staff of Pepperdine University, earning a doctorate in business administration in 1971 and rising to the level of a vice-presidency within the university. He retired to Birmingham, Alabama, his wife's hometown, in 1980.

In addition to being an artist, aviator, and university administrator, Bob Bales is the author of Jet Aces of the Korean Conflict (1957), Ernie Pyle: A Hoosier Childhood (2002), and Ernie Pyle's Southwest (2003). After his death, his widow, Peggy Bales, remarked, "He lived life to the fullest like no one I ever knew." Among the other accomplishments of his long life and career: Eagle Scout, varsity wrestler, horseshoe pitcher, member of the Society of Illustrators, skin diver, and hunter. Bob Bales died on December 13, 2016, at age ninety-six.

(1) See The Story of Ernie Pyle by Lee G. Miller (New York: The Viking Press, 1950), p. 394.
(2) Born Moses Solomon Philipp, the artist was known as Robert in his youth. He later changed his name legally. George Carson Bales--with no Robert in sight--is nicknamed Bob. Could he have followed the example of his famous teacher?
(3) Philipp and Brackman both painted portraits of movie stars. I wonder if those connections helped Bob Bales break into moviemaking as an artist at the Walt Disney studios.

"USAF Friends Near K-9, Korea" by George C. Bales. K-9 was near the coast in far southern South Korea. I was stationed in the central part of the peninsula, south of Seoul, more than forty years later. Despite the passage of those four decades and more, I can say that this doesn't look very much different from the place where I served.

Revised and updated on December 6, 2019.
Text and captions copyright 2016, 2019 Terence E. Hanley

Monday, November 14, 2016

Leroy D. Moon (1894-1941)

I have fallen behind in my writing and owe you the second part of an article on Lawrence Beall Smith. In the interest of catching up, I'll offer the biography of an artist named Moon on the night of a super moon.

Leroy Dow Moon was born on May 13, 1894, in Indianapolis, Indiana. His father was Melville Lucas (possibly Lucas Melville) Moon (1857-1927), a Morgan County native and at various times a clerk in a railroad office and a merchant in a meat market. His mother was Rachel or Rachael Thornburg Moon. Melville and Rachel Moon were married on October 2, 1889, at the United Methodist Church in Indianapolis. They had at least three children, Marie (b. Oct. 1890), Inez (b. ca. 1893), and Leroy D. (possibly Lorenzo D., after his paternal grandfather, b. May 13, 1894).

Leroy Moon attended Manual High School in Indianapolis. On April 23, 1917, less than three weeks after the United States had declared war on Germany, he enlisted in the Army National Guard. He served in Battery A of the 150th Field Artillery, a unit within the 42nd Infantry, the famed Rainbow Division that fought in France during the Great War.

Moon separated from the Army on May 9, 1919. From October 1920 into at least September 1921, he attended the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis. He also studied art in Chicago. The 1922 Indianapolis city directory listed him as a commercial artist with a residence at 2402 North Talbott Street (his father's house). In 1924, he was probably in Evansville, Indiana, and working for The Trade Extension Bureau as the art director of its commercial art department. By the 1930s, Moon had returned to the city of his birth. There he worked for the Indianapolis Star at various times.

Leroy Moon, who signed his name "Lee Moon," was married twice, first to Vesta V. Boulden, on December 21, 1914. (He gave his birth year as 1893, thus making himself twenty-one years old rather than twenty.) That marriage ended by the end of the decade. On November 1, 1922, Moon married Mary Hazel May in Marion County, Indiana, presumably in Indianapolis. As of the 1940 census, Moon was lodging (alone) at 323 North Delaware Street in Indianapolis and working as a freelance commercial artist. A year later, on January 26, 1941, he died in Los Angeles, according to his obituary, "after a long illness." He was forty-five years old. The body of Leroy D. Moon was returned to Indianapolis for burial and lies at rest in Crown Hill Cemetery.

A clipping from The Trade Extension Bureau Monthly Service Bulletin showing a photograph of art director Leroy D. Moon (June 1924, p. 14).

A drawing by Lee Moon asking readers of the Indianapolis Star to "Please Help!" after the flood of 1937. Unfortunately, this is the only example I have of Moon's art.

Text and captions copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley

Friday, August 19, 2016

Lawrence Beall Smith (1909-1995)-Part One

I have a book called Contemporary American Painting, and though it is no longer contemporary, it still has great value as an artifact of another era and as a source of information about artists of yesteryear. Contemporary American Painting was written and edited by Grace Pagano and published in 1945 by Duell, Sloan and Pearce. As it turns out, this blog is more or less in the same format as Grace Pagano's book: brief biographies of artists followed by images of their work. (1) I found the book yesterday (Aug. 13, 2016) at the local library book sale. As I looked through it, I hoped to find an artist born in Indiana. There was none. But I found an artist who lived in Indiana as a child, and I'm happy to include him in my list of Indiana illustrators. I'm happy, too, to write something about him using a medium--the Internet--that seems not to have paid the facts of his life very much attention.

Lawrence Beall Smith was born on October 2, 1909, in Washington, D.C., to Gerald Karr Smith (1882-1964) and Leah Beall Smith (1883-1979). He appears to have been their only child. According to Contemporary American Painting, "his childhood was spent in the Carolinas, Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana." (p. 105) That wandering childhood was probably due his father's work, but Lawrence Beall Smith had a connection to Indiana on his mother's side as well. First, his father.

Born in Galion, Ohio, Gerald Karr Smith (1882-1964) was descended from a Revolutionary War soldier, Private Jacob Smith of New Jersey. Smith's father, Stephen L. Smith, was a school teacher, postmaster, and county auditor in Ohio. During World War I, Gerald Karr Smith served under the National War Work Council as business secretary in the Y.M.C.A. at Camp Zachary Taylor in what is now Louisville, Kentucky. (2) He remained a secretary in the Y.M.C.A. for more than two decades afterward, for that was his occupation as late as 1942 when he filled out his draft card during World War II. By 1920, the year of the decennial census, Smith was in Chicago. There he seems to have remained, for the censuses of 1930 and 1940 have him there as well, as does the aforementioned draft card from 1942.

If Lawrence Beall Smith lived in the Carolinas as a child, that would appear to have been sometime prior to his father's service during World War I. Smith's time in Kentucky was very likely in the years 1917 to 1918 or 1919, when his father would have been stationed at Camp Taylor. After that, Chicago was his home and the place where he received his education. But for a time before the war, Lawrence Beall Smith lived in Indiana with his parents, and for that we can call him one of our own.

On his mother's side, Lawrence Beall Smith was at least one-fourth Hoosier. Leah Beall was the daughter of Alexander Beall and Arelia or Aurelia R. "Ora" McCarty Beall. Ora was born on June 12, 1852, in Indiana. On October 14, 1875, she married Alexander Beall, an Ohio native, in Grant County, Indiana. The couple lived in Van Wert County, Ohio, in 1880 and 1900. Alexander Beall did not make it to the next census--he died in 1908 and was buried in Adams County, Indiana. His widow followed him to the grave in 1914. Her place of death was on the opposite side of the state, in Vincennes, Indiana. Her son-in-law, Gerald Karr Smith, also of Vincennes, signed her death certificate, and she was laid to rest next to her husband at Mount Tabor Cemetery in Adams County.

Gerald Karr Smith returned to his native state sometime after 1942 and died in Bellefontaine, Ohio, on November 20, 1964. His wife survived him and passed away on March 29, 1979, in Cincinnati. The couple now lie side by side in Bellefontaine City Cemetery, not far from the highest point in Ohio.

To be continued . . .

(1) Contemporary American Painting has two additional features for each artist: a photographic portrait and a reproduction of his or her signature.
(2) F. Scott Fitzgerald was stationed at Camp Taylor as well.

Lawrence Beall Smith was an only child, a young man of childlike appearance, a father of three children, and an artist of childhood. Here are a few of his prints on the subject of children and childhood, first, "Frolic," from 1948. 

"Victory Day, Clam Diggers," from 1946. This one reminds me of the Maine books of Robert McCloskey.

"Child and Cherubs" (1949).

"Party Chutes" (1952).

"Windy Hill" (1948).

"Forest Flight" (1949).

Finally, an oil painting, "Observing the Game" (date unknown).

Text copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Elizabeth Buchsbaum Newhall (1909-1942)-Part Two

Elizabeth Buchsbaum provided the illustrations for the biology textbook Animals Without Backbones: An Introduction to the Invertebrata, published in 1938. The authors were her older brother, Ralph Morris Buchsbaum (1907-2002), and Ralph's wife, Mildred Shaffer Buchsbaum (1912-1996). Elizabeth's drawings are in black and white and are characterized by great clarity and simplicity. Generations of biology students have studied and learned from her work. Apparently, one of the great graphic artists of the twentieth century was also a student of Elizabeth Buchsbaum. I'll let the artists themselves tell the story . . .

Here is the cover for the second edition of Animals Without Backbones, written by Ralph M. Buchsbaum and Mildred Shaffer Buchsbaum and illustrated by Ralph's sister Elizabeth M. Buchsbaum. The crosseyed planarian has become a standard image in biological illustration. It's one I remember from my own childhood reading.

Here is an interior illustration from the book, showing a colonial animal called an Obelia. Note the great clarity and simplicity of the drawing. (I have slightly altered the image by recoloring the background to an even tan color.)

Elizabeth Buchsbaum's depiction of planarian anatomy is also clear and readable. (Again I have recolored the background.)

According to undocumented sources on the Internet, Dutch artist M.C. Escher (1898-1972) is supposed to have been inspired by the drawings of Elizabeth Buchsbaum. Is there truth in that claim? I don't know. There isn't any doubt that Escher's flatworms look a lot like Elizabeth Buchsbaums' flatworms, but then both are based on real animals. Update (Dec. 5, 2018): According to Sherry Buchsbaum, granddaughter-in-law of Maurice and Mabel Buchsbaum, M.C. Escher was indeed influenced by Elizabeth Buchsbaum's depiction of planaria. See her comment below.

Here is Elizabeth's grasshopper from Animals Without Backbones . . .

And here is Escher's. I think a stronger case can be made that Escher was inspired by Elizabeth's grasshopper, depicted in both drawings in an almost orthographic projection. (Oddly, grasshoppers are in the order Orthoptera.) But if Escher was influenced by one drawing, why not by the other? And if that's the case, then an Indiana illustrator has her place in the study of one of the most renowned artists of the twentieth century. Either way, the art of Elizabeth Buchsbaum Newhall lives on, even now, seventy-four years after her death. Update (Dec. 5, 2018): In her comment below, Sherry Buchsbaum has pointed out that M.C. Escher's grasshopper came before Elizabeth Buchsbaum's. With that being the case, I wonder whether she was instead influenced by him.

To close out this article about Elizabeth Buchsbaum, I would like to mention her younger brother, Robert E. Buchsbaum. He was born on December 25, 1912, in Chicago and received his bachelor's (1936) and master's (1937) degrees from the University of Chicago. Buchsbaum was a conductor (of the Gary symphony and others), an oboist, an instructor of music, and an executive at Coronet Recording Company. After a very long and productive life, he died on January 31, 2001, in Columbus, Ohio.

Text copyright 2016, 2018 Terence E. Hanley

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Elizabeth Buchsbaum Newhall (1909-1942)-Part One

Teacher and illustrator Elizabeth Buchsbaum Newhall came from a distinguished family of scientists and artists. Sadly, her mother died when she was only an infant, and Elizabeth herself lived only a very short life. In creating the illustrations for a textbook still considered a standard in its field, Elizabeth Buchsbaum combined the two sides of her family, the scientific and the artistic. Although she was also a fine artist, her reputation now rests on her drawings of insects, worms, and other invertebrates.

Elizabeth Mabel Buchsbaum was born in 1909 in the Philippines. Her father, then a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army, was Dr. Maurice (Morris) Buchsbaum (1867-1935), a native of Austria who had arrived in the United States in 1890 and who had been naturalized on October 1, 1896. Dr. Buchsbaum received his bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago in 1903 and his medical degree from Rush Medical College of Chicago in 1905. He also taught internal medicine at that school. Dr. Buchsbaum joined the Medical Reserve Corps on September 25, 1908, in Oklahoma. After being stationed in Wyoming, Dr. Buchsbaum was transferred to Fort Mills on the Philippine island of Corregidor. He began at that post on October 30, 1909, as an assistant to the surgeon and was later stationed on the island of Mindanao and at the Presidio in San Francisco.

Elizabeth Buchsbaum's mother was Mabel Victor Buchsbaum about whom almost nothing is known, despite the fact that she lies buried in a national cemetery. Mabel Buchsbaum passed away on November 25, 1909, and was first laid to rest in the Philippines. Her body was reinterred at San Francisco National Cemetery, located at the Presidio, on April 1, 1910. Considering the circumstances of Elizabeth Buchsbaum Newhall's death in 1942 and the fact that her birth year is estimated in census records as 1910 rather than 1909, I think it possible that Mabel Buchsbaum died in childbirth. In any case, her daughter would have been only an infant at her death. Her son Ralph, born on January 2, 1907, in Chickasha, Oklahoma Territory, was not even three years old at her death.

Elizabeth Buchsbaum's widowed father was honorably discharged from the U.S Army on January 15, 1912. Less than a month later, on February 10, 1912, he married Hermine Josephine Beck in Chicago. Born in Bohemia in about 1877, she came to the United States in 1893. As of the 1910 U.S. Census, she was the superintendent of a hospital on Wrightwood Avenue in Chicago. In short order after the Buchsbaums' wedding, a second son, named Robert E. Buchsbaum, came into the family. He was born on December 25, 1912, in Chicago.

By 1918, the Buchsbaums were living in Gary, Indiana. Incorporated in 1906, Gary was then only a dozen years old and like the rest of the lake region of northwestern Indiana served as a bedroom community for people studying and working in Chicago. I presume that Elizabeth attended school in Gary, as her family had lived there from as early as 1918 and as late as the census of 1930, when she would have been twenty years old. According to the website American Illustration Notables, Circa 1900-1970, she studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. She also attended the University of Chicago. By 1935, Elizabeth was a teacher at Jefferson School in Gary. In 1939, she was at Edison School in the same city. Gary is no longer what it once was. Unfortunately, Jefferson and Edison schools have both fallen into neglect and decay.

Sometime around 1939-1941, Elizabeth M. Buchsbaum married Franklin Newhall (1914-2005), an agricultural climatologist specializing in soil moisture. Afterwards known as Elizabeth Buchsbaum Newhall, she died, supposedly in childbirth, on the night of December 30, 1942, in Chicago. Although her death was reported in The Jewish Post, her remains were interred at the First Unitarian Church crypt in Chicago. She was survived by her husband, stepmother, and her two brothers. Her husband went on to marry two more times and to live into his tenth decade on earth.

To be continued . . .

Dr. Maurice (Morris) Buchsbaum (1867-1935), father of teacher and illustrator Elizabeth Buchsbaum Newhall. The photograph is from his graduation from Rush Medical College in Chicago, 1905.

Jefferson School, Gary, Indiana, where Elizabeth taught during the 1930s.

Updated December 5, 2018.
Thanks to Sherry Buchsbaum for corrections and for further information on the Buchsbaum family. (See her comment below.)
Text copyright 2016, 2018 Terence E. Hanley

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Mac Heaton Art Gallery

This year--this month in fact--is the centennial year of the establishment of the National Park Service (NPS), a milestone in the history of conservation in America. Two thousand sixteen is also the bicentennial year of the State of Indiana. Lost in those two big celebrations is the fact that 2016 is also the centennial year of the first state parks in Indiana, acquired through the tireless efforts of Richard Lieber (1869-1944). McCormick's Creek State Park, located in Owen County, was Indiana's first. Turkey Run State Park, located in Parke County and Colonel Lieber's favorite, came next. Both were dedicated on December 16, 1916, in conjunction with the centennial celebration of Indiana statehood. A little more than two years later, in March 1919, the governor signed a bill creating the Indiana Department of Conservation. Colonel Richard Lieber was named the first director. In 1965, the Indiana Department of Conservation was renamed the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). The agency still bears that name.

The Department of Conservation began publishing a magazine called Outdoor Indiana in February 1934. In this age when magazines seem to be dying, Outdoor Indiana is still in print. In June 1945, artist Malcolm C. Heaton (1925-2002) went to work for Outdoor Indiana. In time he became art director of the Department of Conservation. Nicknamed Mac, Heaton was a versatile artist, as the illustrations below will show. He was adept at painting, drawing, and even cartooning. He worked at a time when state conservation agencies employed some outstanding wildlife artists, including Charles Schwartz (1914-1991) in Missouri, Bob Hines (1912-1994) in Ohio, and Ned Smith (1919-1985) in Pennsylvania. Mac Heaton stood among them as an artist from what might be called the golden age of conservation in America.

"Cornfield Covey" by Mac Heaton, a painting depicting a river-bottom field in Greene County, the artist's home county, for the November 1963 issue of Outdoor Indiana. Unfortunately, despite all the efforts of conservationists, a covey of bobwhite quail has become a rare sight in Indiana.

A drawing of a gull by Heaton, showing that he worked just as well in halftone as in full color. This illustration is from an article called "Gulls of Michigan City" by James Landing, from Outdoor Indiana, August 1963.

On March 22, 1824, seven white men murdered nine American Indians near Pendleton, Indiana, in an event now called the Fall Creek Massacre. The men were tried and some were executed for their crimes. It was the first time in American history that a white man was executed for a crime against an Indian. Outdoor Indiana had an article about the massacre in its August 1963 issue. The author was Arville L. Funk. Mac Heaton provided the illustration.

In addition to being an illustrator, Heaton was a cartoonist. Here is one of his cartoons, from the back cover of Outdoor Indiana, February 1964.

Finally, another back cover drawing, this one illustrating a biological concept, "Coverings," from Outdoor Indiana, July 1964. 

Note: My computer died last month, and though I have a new computer, I have been without a scanner for a while. Now I'm back in the blogging business, but I have fallen well behind in my writing. Please bear with me while I catch up.
Text copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley

Friday, July 1, 2016

Joseph A. Trover (1915-2002)

Joseph Albert Trover was born on February 26, 1915, in a place called Four Corners in Vermillion County, Indiana. He studied with Simon Baus, George Jo Mess, C. Curry Bohm, and Edward R. Sitzman. Trover was a member of numerous art associations and won numerous prizes and honors. In addition to being a painter, he was an art teacher and a judge at art shows. You can read more about him at the following website:

Please be aware that some of the information on that website may not be entirely accurate.

Although he grew up in Dana, Indiana, and lived in Indianapolis, Joseph Trover was an artist of Brown County. I have not found any illustration or cartooning credits for him, but a few days ago I discovered at Half-Price Books a few copies of the magazine Outdoor Indiana from the 1960s. There on the cover of the October 1963 issue is the following image:

Bean Blossom is the name of a place in Brown County, a home to artists for more than a century. Trover owned an art gallery there. I have not seen this bridge that I remember, but in some places in Indiana, you don't have to drive far to come across a covered bridge. Parke County, adjacent to Trover's native county, is home to more covered bridges than any other county in America. Every fall, it has a covered bridge festival. By the way, Joseph A. Trover died in 2002.

I have been away for most of the last two months. That explains the lack of postings here. I hope to catch up in July and August with four postings per month. Next: more from Outdoor Indiana.

Text copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Charles Frederick Surendorf, Jr. (1906-1979)

Charles Frederick Surendorf, Jr., was born on November 9, 1906, in Richmond, Indiana. He attended the Art Institute of Chicago, the Art Students League, and Ohio State University. In 1929, he moved to Logansport, Indiana, and from there to California (in 1935), living first in Los Angeles, then in San Francisco. In 1946, he moved to Columbia, California, an old ghost town. Surendorf worked in all of those places as an artist, as well as in Tahiti, New Orleans, and the California desert.

In 1949, Charles Surendorf sent word home to his family in Logansport that he had married Barbara Stoner, a former model, beauty queen, and assistant curator of an art gallery in California. Like her new husband, Mrs. Surendorf was a Hoosier, having come from Goshen. The couple had three children together.

Charles Surendorf was a painter and a printmaker. In his younger days, he drew cartoons for his hometown newspaper. In the 1930s or early 1940s, he painted a mural of the Pottawatomie Indians in the Logansport library. Unfortunately that work was lost when the library burned in 1941. Surendorf won many prizes and accolades and had his work widely exhibited. He was also a member of many art associations and groups.

Surendorf was recognized in his time as one of the foremost woodblock/linoleum block printers in the United States. Charles F. Surendorf, Jr., died on May 28, 1979, in Columbia, California, at age seventy-two.

A self-portrait by Charles Frederick Surendorf, Jr., from 1935. This is an early example of his engraving. Others can be found all over the Internet with a simple search for his name. Good luck and happy viewing.

Text copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

James M. Triggs (1924-1992)

James Martin Triggs was born on March 2, 1924, in Indianapolis and was educated in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and Mamaroneck, New York. He served in the U.S. military during World War II and studied at Cornell University and the Pratt Institute. Triggs got his start as a commercial artist working with Stevan Dohanos (1907-1994) and Coby Whitmore (1913-1988). Often working in a trompe l'oeil manner, he did advertising art and painted magazine covers for Argosy and other publications. He was especially interested in airplanes and firearms. Triggs was also an author, with the books The Piper Cub Story (1963) and Used Plane Buying Guide (1962) to his credit. James M. Triggs died on June 26, 1992, in Danbury, Connecticut.

Text copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley