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 Thomas Nast  (1840 - 1902)

About: Thomas Nast


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Lived/Active: New York/New Jersey / Ecuador      Known for: editorial cartoons, military genre, illustration

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Paul Hennefeld

THE ART OF CARICATURE, by GRANT WRIGHT, Baker Taylor Co. NY, P. 154 - 148
Thomas Nast was born in Landau, Bavaria, and was the son of a musician in the Bavarian army. He came to New York when nine years of age and was educated in the public schools there. His first work for reproduction was done for Frank Leslie, by whom he was employed when but fifteen years old at the meager salary of four dollars a week. He sketched the Sayers-Heenan fight for the New York ILLUSTRATED NEWS, going to England for that purpose. Afterward he went to Italy and followed Garibaldi's army through its victorious campaign, contributing extremely clever war sketches to the illustrated press of New York, London, and Paris. During this period Garibaldi entrusted him, as his aide, with several important missions. Returning to the United States in 1861, a year later he formed a connection with the staff of Harper Brothers, remaining with them for twenty-four years. His salary at the close of his career with this firm was ten thousand dollars a year. In 1886 he found himself unable to agree with the political policy of Harper's Weekly and severed his connection with the periodical in which he had achieved a brillant success. He introduced many features into his work which were at that time novel in the art of cartooning. Symbols which are the common property of the present-day cartoonist were invented by him. Among them are Uncle Sam, the Tammany tiger, the Republican elephant, the Democratic jackass, the bloody shirt of anarchy, and the laboring man's cap and dinner pail. As a painter he has produced much work of historical value. From 1873 to 1888 he made a number of lecturing tours throughout the United States, accompanying his witty and entertaining talks with offhand sketches with chalk and crayon on a large canvas. Later he published Nast's Weekly and contributed a number of pictures to the Illustrated American. During the Roosevelt administration he was appointed United States consul to Guayaquil, where he died a short time after his arrival.

A sketch of Thomas Nest, by Grant Wright, is on page 149, of THE ART OF CARICATURE

From Paul Hennefeld, grandson of Grant Wright

Gene Meier

A War Artist's Experience;Recollections of Illustrated Newspaper Work Over Thirty Years Ago; Incidents in Sketching Battles and Going with Marching Armies;General Grant's Simplicity In Mess and Coolness Under Fire (1) Mr.Theodore (Russell) Davis,the old artist and war correspondent of HARPER'S WEEKLY, is in the city assisting in arranging the Cyclorama[[]BATTLE OF ATLANTA)...(2)"...Then followed the most celebrated paper of all at that time--the NEW YORK ILLUSTRATED NEWS--which had on its staff Thomas Nast, Sol Etynge, Jr., D.C.Hitchcock,A.A.Waud and myself.That was a rousing staff, I tell you, and we made a rousing paper,too. Frank Leslie was not popular enough at the time to surround himself with any very efficient corps of artists."(more)

Fred R. Kline

Catalogue Raisonne of Paintings by Thomas Nast
Catalogue Raisonne of Paintings by Thomas Nast

For Online and Book publication of a Catalogue Raisonne of Paintings by Thomas Nast sponsored by Kline Art Research Associates and Fred R. Kline Gallery (Santa Fe, NM), we are seeking to learn of Nast paintings in private collections. Please provide images if possible. Original drawings of all types are also of interest. All information will be treated confidentially with copyrights remaining with the owner.

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