title: 'The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903, December 29, 1894, Page 4, Image 4',
meta: 'News about Chronicling America - RSS Feed',
About The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903 | View This Issue
THE AMERICAN ARTIST.
New York, with great complacency claims Mr. Charles Dana Gib
son and all his genius as hexpwnays the Boston Herald, but we
Boetonians have the satisfaction of knowing that he really belongs
to us by right of birth, and that he has a very large, warm spot in
his heart for the Hub of the universe.
Much has been written and said of Mr. Gibson of late, but he re
cent exhibition of drawings gives occasion for much more to be said.
It is in many ways a notable exhibition, and proved even more for
cibly than his printed work how far above others of his kind he
stands, for it is now recognized as a foregone conclusion that this
young artist is the most accomplished illustrator in the world in his
particular class of work.
His technique is wonderful, showing the utmost simplicity and
and easy confidence, with a fieedom of broad flowing lines, full of a
directness that is masterful. His composition is one of the chief
points of Lis work; it shows the utmost grace, and even bis largest
groups are never stiff. They are f ullbf variety, which never seems
forced, but appears to result naturally from the exigencies of the
subject. The chief figures assert themselves as such, and their
story is always clearly suggested; the line arrangements are strong
and tolling, and the distribution of the m'ain masses of light and
shade are admirably conceived, and he is never afraid of big, strong
contrasts. His subjects are refreshingly original, being distinctively
his own, and he knows the world so well.
He. is the gentlest of cynics, and from his vantage ground of the
inner circles of society to which he belongs, through birth and
breeding, he softly treads upon the toes of the foibles of the smart
set and the much discussed Four Hundred, and shows them up to
an appreciative public in the most facinating guises.
Mr. Gibson's greatest claim to fame lies in his portrayal of the
typical American girl, whom he has made famous through his draw
ings, and perhaps historical, who knows? She is a beautiful crea
ture, this idolized American girl of his. She is tall and straight,
and Juno-like in her beauty, with the strength of the idealized god
dess of liberty in her face, and eyes pure as heaven. She is dressad
in the latest mode, with all the cbic of the. Rue de la Paix, but, says
Droch, she has a pair of shoulders under her coat that can drive an
oar through the water or keep a hunter down to his work. Her
neck rises out of a gown as though it were attached to something
substantial, and she is healthy and bravo and independent and well
bred She is a girl you can swear by, and who could be soft and
and sympathizing, or courageous and strong, as the occasion de
manded. The kind of girl, in fact, that men are proud of and women
Mr. Gibson forms a background for his beautiful American girls
of some very line looking men, and it is said that Richard Harding
Davis, who is a great friend of the artist, is drawn into a great many
iteresting sketches, and in the horse show picture there is a por
trait of the young writer that is better than most of his photographs
Mr. Gibson's character studies are extremely graphic His foreign
noblemen are a little too diminutive and scrawny and his bishops a
trifle too fat, to be sure, but he makes amends for the former in his
drawing, entitled, "This Can Happen Sometimes," which represents
the American girl bringing in a god-like looking young Englishman
of a husband, causing her father to fall into the arms of his butler
All the drawing in the late exhibition were singularly interesting
but there were a few that stood- out with startling clearness. For
instance, the one which shows the little dead Love. Oh, so hope
lessly, drearily dead fn his bier of roses, between the beautiful,
wretched woman and the stern, sad nan with so much relentless in
difference written on his handsomeface. Oh ! the heartbreak and
the truth and the pity cjt But how did Mr. Gibson know?
And the other picture, not qpTte so sad, but just as true, which
says that ''when love once goes out it is hard to get him back,' and
which shows naked little Cupid with folded arms flattened stub
bornly against the doorpost, and the women with voluptous .should
ers and her hair in a French bandeau trying to coax him back with
her prettiest pleading while the man sits cynically indifferent knock
ing the ashes off his cigar but it's life, and Mr. Gibson knows it.
Mr. Gibson is yet so young that there has been but little of note
in his life besides his art. He is twenty-six years old and was born
in Roxbury, but lived in Chestnut street in Boston urittl he was six
years of age, when his family moved to St. Louis, and finally took up
their residence on Long Island where his home has since been.
Although he had drawn instinctively since he was a small boy, he
did not at first choose art for his life work, but entered a broker's
office at 16. His father, who always encouraged his artistic tenden
cies suggested that he leave his office work and try the Art Stu
dent's League, and he entered the school only to leave it two years
after with considerable dissatisfaction with himself and art principles
in general. This is all the art education Mr. Gibson ever had; the
rest came through genius and practice.
His earliest efforts at disposing of his work for publication are
most amusingly told by himself.
"My first attempt' he says," was to make up a portfolio of all sorts
of things I had done in the school and start out to see what I could
do. I visited every publishing house, photo-engraving establish
ment and lithographer in the city of New York. They were all very
polite, they became pleasantly familar with mo, but none of them
wanted my work.
"I visited the big places like the Century, Harper's, Scribner's
and the rest. I would take a bundle of drawings into Harper's and
give them to the boy without my name or.iddreas and say I would
call in a day or two. Sometimes I cailfd, sometimes I left the
drawings altogether. When I did go after4hem I would say to the
boy: 'That bundle of drawings I left the other day? Yes, that's
the bundle and I would tuck it under my arm and walk away.'
His first drawing, however, was accepted by Life when he was 19.
It was a sketch of a dog barking at the moon, and called "The
moon and I," torn the Mikado song. Mr. Gibson carried it to Mr.
Mitchell of Life and that gentleman, after glancing at it said: "Yes,
that's pretty good. We'll take it." But the future' genius was much
concerned for fear that the genial editor of Life would ask him how
much he expected. He had made up his mind to say 50 cents, but
1213 0 STEEET.
and yotir txe&L cool,
Is the proper thing for you.
-. Come andSee.
$4-00 and $5.00.