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August, 2016               The Antique Shoppe            Page 5

THE ANTIQUE DETECTIVE

BY ANNE GILBERT

          American Illustrators Documented Our Early Wars
   Before there were photo journalists covering bloody battle scenes                                           famous artists on very different subjects. Frederic Remington (1861-
as they were happening, there were artists known as “pictorial                                                 1909) would be remembered for his realistic paintings of the old West.
reporters” who did sketches along side the fighting armies. Their role                                         Howard Chandler Christy (1873-1952) created his famous Christy
in the history of military illustrations began during the Civil War and                                        Girl. However, what is considered his finest work, The signing of the
the beginning of American military art.                                                                        Constitution, can be scene in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol.
                                                                                                               William Glackens (1870-1938), an artist-reporter for Philadelphia
   At this time important changes were made in printing processes.                                             newspapers, was sent to Cuba by McClure’s Magazine to do illustrations
The public relied on news from the battlefront from two publications:                                          of the Spanish American War. After the war ended he became
Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper and Harper’s Weekly. They sent artists                    Winslow         renowned as a painter and one of the eight founders of the Ashcan
to the battlefields armed with pencils and paper.                                           Homer Sketch       School of art.

   Winslow Homer (1836-1910) famed these days for his paintings,                            Courtesy:          World War I saw more changes in military illustrations. Harvey
was a free lance illustrator when the Civil War began. Even though                              Historical     Dunn (1884-1952), was already well known as a painter, illustrator
he was a pictorial reporter for a short time, he continued to do                            Preservation Site  and teacher, when he became an official war artist. He carried on the
illustrations from his past battlefield experiences. While the originals
are in museums there are still prints available and affordable.                                                tradition of the early pictorial reporters who lived in the trenches and
                                                                                                               fought alongside his men.
   Since an eager public awaited the latest war news and illustrations,                     World War II saw artists referred to as “artists correspondents.” Kerr Eby (1889-1946)
the sketches had to get to the railroad and transported to the New York publishers. Once    landed with the Marines on Tarawa. Before that, during World War I, as a staff sergeant, he did
there they were worked on by in-house artists, then traced onto a block of boxwood to be    battlefront sketches that he published in 1936, in a book called “War.”
engraved. There continued to be important new changes in printing techniques. The use       CLUES: There are still many opportunities to begin a collection of original military art
of halftones allowed for shadings of gray and black, adding interest to the illustrations.  as well as prints. Check out the auctions at Illustration House in New York City for original
Photoengraving, that developed from several inventions in photography, was first used by    examples and the prints sold by various specialty galleries such as The Old Print Shop in
newspapers and magazines in the late 1870s.                                                 New York City. There are many long forgotten military artists to discover.

   During the Spanish American War in 1898, three pictorial reporters would later become

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