Studio: international art — 25.1902

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American Press Illustrators


The able manner in which news events are
illustrated in the pages of the daily papers in
America has been made possible by two principal
influences. Firstly, the development of public
interest in pictorial matter brought about by the
magazines which had so largely opened their pages
to the clever black-and-white draughtsmen of the
time ; and, secondly, a more vital reason, that of
a national characteristic of deeply interested
curiosity, which makes the American mind so
keenly responsive to " live news," eager for detail,
and quick to grasp the anecdotal side of pictorial
art. Thus the "illustrated" newspaper has become
a component part of the social condition of the
American people.

The innovators of news illustration met with
many and trying difficulties. Heretofore the
publishers had concerned themselves only with
the facts and figures of news, and did not realise
the possibilities and value of illustrations. A
commencement was made by the introduction of
pen-and-ink portraits drawn from photographs, the
originals of which, in most cases, unless seeking
for notoriety, strongly objected to their use. Many
were the buffets and defeats of reporters and artists
in their endeavours to obtain permission to use

"columbia and constitution" (From the " North American") , by c. hofacker


such portraits. Gradually, however, persons of
prominence in public affairs, society or professional,
sanctioned the use, and both publisher and public
quickly grasped the importance of the artist's work
in the new field, and as quickly found him able to
do far greater things than the newspaper portrait.

One paper after another took up the idea, and'
from this beginning of a handful of men the work
in a few years has become a most important and
striking feature of American journalism. Many of
the great dailies retain a permanent staff of from
ten to twenty men. Newspaper publishers and
editors, appreciating the value of the pictorial
expression of news, have come to consider an
" art" staff a necessity, and even among the
smaller papers illustrations are abundantly used.

The work of these artists appears daily to an
audience of some millions of people, and their
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