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 Burne Hogarth  (1911 - 1996)

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Lived/Active: New York/Illinois / France      Known for: cartoonist, illustrator, animal

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Ad Code: 3
Burne Hogarth
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
An illustrator, cartoonist, and educator, Burne Hogarth is the best-known artist to have drawn Tarzan aside from Hal Foster. Hogarth illustrated the Sunday adventures of Edgar Rice Burroughs Jungle Lord, for the majority of the period from 1937 to 1950. He also co-founded the Cartoonists and Illustrators School, which was later to change its name to the School of Visual Arts and become the largest private art school in the world.

Born in Chicago, Hogarth began his professional career in 1926 as an assistant cartoonist with the Associated Editors Syndicate, for whom he drew a panel series titled Famous Churches of the World. By 1934, he was working in the King Features bullpen in New York City. The following year, the McNaught Syndicate assigned him to take over as an artist on the faltering pirate strip, Pieces of Eight. When Hal Foster left the Tarzan page to begin Prince Valiant, Hogart was the one selected to replace him. Initially, Hogarth remained with the jungle page until 1945, and then departed to try his luck elsewhere.

Next, he drew a Sunday page titled Drago, about a muscle-bound gaucho, for the New York Post Syndicate. It survived for less than a year, and Hogarth went back to Tarzan until 1950. He then quit for good following a dispute with the syndicate. During this latter period, Hogarth had considerable help from such students of his as Al Williamson and Gil Kane. In 1947 and 1948, Hogarth also attempted a humorous Sunday called Miracle Jones. The feature, with a hero modeled after Walter Mitty, did not succeed.

Hogarth was also active as an educator. He taught for the WPA Arts Project from 1933 to 1935. In 1944, he founded the Academy of Newspaper Art in Manhattan. The Academy offered courses in cartooning and illustration with an emphasis on their journalistic application. It operated until 1946. The following year, Hogarth co-founded the Cartoonists and Illustrators School, a more ambitious and diversified establishment that changed its name in 1956 to the School of Visual Arts. It was to become an accredited institute and the largest private art school in the world. Hogarth set up the curricula, wrote all the courses, served as vice president and art supervisor, and taught a full schedule until his retirement in 1970. From 1976 to 1979, he taught anatomy at the Parsons School of Design. Since 1981, he has been an instructor of analytical drawing at the Art Center College of Design in Southern California. Hogarth has written several books for Watson-Guptill, including Dynamic Anatomy (1958) and Dynamic Light and Shade (1981).

Although Drago and Miracle Jones had a small circle of fans, it is for Tarzan that Hogarths reputation, as one of the better illustrator in comics, rests. The dynamic rendering of anatomy that he celebrated in many of his book titles, his dramatic compositions, and the realistic depiction of nature in the pages backgrounds, earned him a considerable reputation.

In 1972, he returned to the comic format with a book-length version of Tarzan of the Apes for Watson-Guptill. A sequel, Jungle Tales of Tarzan, followed in 1976.

(Information on the biography above is based on writings from the book, "The Encyclopedia of American Comics," edited by Ron Goulart.)
The following information is from Ellen M. Shepard of Cranston, Rhode Island. She wrote:

"Burne Hogarth was my father's brother, thus I am his niece. He was born Bernard Ginsburg in Chicago, Illinois, on December 25, 1911, though he spent most of his life living in Pleasantville, New York. To the family (and
friends, I think) he was known as "Spin," a shortened form of his Jewish
name, Spinoza. I called him Uncle Spin, and he was referred to as Spin by
both his brother, Harvey and his sister, Mildred.

"In going over some old papers I found the following documents which I saved from one of "Two Celebrations Remembering Burne Hogarth,". . . handouts which were given out on Friday, June 7,1996 at the Student Gallery at Parsons School of Design. I presume the same were passed out on Sunday, June 2, 1996 at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

Burne Hogarth
December 25, 1911 - January 28, 1996

Burne Hogarth, world-famous cartoonist, illustrator and art historian, is considered one of the titans of comic art, having achieved universal acclaim for his illustrations of the Sunday newspaper feature, Tarzan. As guest of honor at the comic arts festival in Angouleme, France, last January, he received an unprecedented standing ovation and was about to return to his home in Los Angeles when he died in Paris on January 28, 1996.

Burne was born in Chicago in 1911. He received his first artistic inspiration from his cabinetmaker father, and his art education at the Art Institute of Chicago. His diversified professional career embraced nearly three quarters of a century as author, art educator, fine artist, illustrator, and comic artist. Burne taught for the WPA Arts Project from 1933 to 1935 and founded the Academy of Newspaper Art in Manhattan in 1944. In 1937, he made comics history when he was chosen by Hal Foster to replace him in the drawing of the Tarzan strip.

Drawing the strip until 1952, his unique and innovative contribution was endowing the comic book page with a profound sense of movement and dynamism while retaining the values of formal illustration. Burne was the first adventure strip artist to design the comics page as a harmonious whole and to see relationships between each panel and composition within panels. After leaving the strip, he published "Tarzan of The Apes" and "Jungle Tales of Tarzan" in book form.

"Years after he abandoned the comics," wrote Walter J. Miller, Professor of Contemporary Literature at NYU, "the culture historians at last 'discovered' him. They hailed him as one of the great iconographers of our age, the 'Michelangelo of the comic strip'."

On three continents, Burne is recognized as a founding father of a new form of sequential art, Pictorial Fiction. Miller continues, "Hogarth has long been famous for realizing the impossible in this medium. His Sunday strips often achieved. . . a genuine brooding, tragic depth."

In 1950, Burne co founded New York's prestigious School of Visual Arts where his lecture demonstrations of anatomy and drawing provided the material for his many books: Dynamic Anatomy, Drawing the Human Head, Dynamic
Figure Drawing, Drawing Dynamic Hands, Dynamic Wrinkles and Drapery, Dynamic Light and Shade and The Arcane Eye of Hogarth. His books are known to art students around the world.

From 1970 until he moved to Los Angeles in 1981, Burne taught anatomy at Parsons School of Design in New York City. From 1983 until his death, he taught analytic figure drawing at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Ramone Munoz, Foundation Chair at Art Center wrote,
"He was revered as a legend by his students and colleagues alike for his
professionalism, vitality and inspirational teaching style."

A past president of the National Cartoonist Society, member of the Board of Governors, he earned the NCS silver plaque for best illustration and
advertising in 1974, ' 75, and ' 76. He was also named Artist of the Year in
1975 at the Pavilion of Humor in Montreal, Canada. In 1986, he received the
lifetime Caran D' Arche award in Lucca, Italy and in 1988 was awarded the
Lauriers D' Or (Golden Laurels) by the C.E.S.A.R. Art Society in Paris. In May 1989, he was awarded the Premio Especial by the 7th International Salon of Humor in Barcelona. His cartoon, drawings, prints, and paintings have been exhibited in one-man and group shows all over the world. Among his proudest honors was an exhibition of his work at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs of the Louvre in Paris.

While Burne was living in New York with his first wife Rhoda, his son Michael was born. From 1962 until his move to California in 1981, Burne lived in Pleasantville, New York in Westchester County with his second wife, Connie and his sons Richard and Ross.


Once again I will type in the information from the second handout entitled, "Remembering Burne Hogarth," "December 25, 1911 - January 28, 1996"
"Most artists have to struggle to invest their work with passion, to raise it from room temperature; Burne's task was to hold his passion in check."

Professor Kenneth Smith wrote:
"Burne was a man driven to the pursuit of new ideas in every conceivable discipline; learning, creating and then passionately teaching all that he had invented. Always striving for new mastery, he tirelessly sought to exceed his own best accomplishments and encourage those around him to do the same. Art was his dynamic passion, teaching was his mission. Of these things he had no choice, they were his reason for being. Beyond all that was obvious in Burne was a sensitivity and caring for all things living, a generous man who would take action at every turn to better the conditions of those less fortunate and one who would give selflessly to worthy cause.

'Burne Hogarth was an apostle and exemplar of dynamism. He put the intensity of his genius into everything he did and said. He was the living image of the great - souled man. All who met him were caught on the wing of his great passion for laughing, forming, nuancing, and releasing some
insight like an osprey into the air.'

'His art was not something made by a distant mind, but begotten or birthed - like all that he did or said, it was straight from the heart. His art was always a child of his energy, drawn from the volcanic capital of his own self: earnest, visceral, yet structured and measured.' "

Burne was a cartoonist, illustrator, author, educator, and artistic innovator who changed forever the artistic level of the comic strip by creating it as a fine art. His death represents the irreplaceable loss of both a genius to the world of art and of a deeply caring human being to his family, friends and colleagues.

Biography from Tweed Museum of Art:
Burne Hogarth
(American, Chicago, IL 1911- 1996 Paris, France)
Painted 1 Mountie subject in 1945.

Hogarth learned to draw at the Chicago Art Institute beginning at age
12. He studied art and anthropology at Crane College, and then finished his formal education at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. There he was introduced to the art of the Renaissance, and indeed, Hogarth's drawings of people have often been noted for their comparison to Michelangelo's figure drawings. In 1926 he was an assistant cartoonist at Associated Editors Syndicate, and the next year was given his own comic strip to illustrate.

He moved to New York around 1930. From 1937-1945, and from 1947-1950 Hogarth drew the Tarzan comic strip for United Features, which he took over from Hal Foster. Also a "Mountie artist," Foster had left
to create his own comic strip for King Features, which became the wildly popular "Prince Valiant." Hogarth founded a school for art, and wrote and illustrated several books on drawing the human figure, as well as two illustrated books about the Tarzan book and comic strip phenomenon.

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