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 Herman Methfessel  (1873 - 1912)

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: magazine illustration and newspaper artist

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Herman Methfossel is primarily known as Herman Methfessel

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Ad Code: 4
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from Auction House Records.
Mother and Baby
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Herman Methfessel was born in Great Kills, Staten Island, New York, in October 1873. He was the oldest of four sons born to Herman and Anna Methfessel. The family lived in Middletown, Staten Island. After his public school education Herman studied at the National Academy of Design where he became a distinguished student. The New York World newspaper, May 13, 1893, published the names of art students who received prizes at the National Academy of Design. In Life School, Methfessel received the silver Suydam medal* in both Composition Class and Painting Class and was awarded 40 dollars with each from the Hallgarten School Prize Fund.

According to the 1900 census, he married in 1899 and lived with his wife Mary and their newborn son in Manhattan, New York City. Although he exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and was active as a painter, Herman Methfessel was an artist who contributed illustrations to top magazines of his time including St. Nicholas. For the New York Evening World he produced Bill Hustle of Harlem (1907). The following year his strip, Kitty Yeow, ran in the Boston Traveler. The book by Florence M. Kingsley, The Return of Caroline (1911) was published with a frontispiece by him. He continued as a newspaper artist until his early death.

Methfessel passed away December 17, 1912, at his home in Staten Island.

The Sun newspaper of New York reported his death the following day:
"Herman Methfessel, who had been a staff artist of the World since 1901, died at his home in Great Kills, Staten Island, yesterday, after an illness of five months. Mr. Methfessel was born at Stapleton, Staten Island, thirty-nine years ago. He was educated in the public schools and after he graduated he studied art in the National Academy of Design. He was one of the first of the high class artists to make newspaper illustration a profession in itself. His last work for the World was illustrating the Chicago and Baltimore conventions. Before joining the World Mr. Methfessel was on staff at The Sun and the Herald. His work also appeared in the leading magazines."

(Herman Methfessel had a younger brother, named Adolph Methfessel (1876-1912), who was also a newspaper/magazine artist, resided in San Francisco, and was on staff at the San Francisco Call. He signed his works adding his first name initial "A". [Should not be confused with the Swiss born artist, Adolf Methfessel (1836-1909).])
 
* The James Augustus Suydam Medal, named after the leading Hudson River School artist
and designed by Anthony C. Paquet (1814-1882), was first presented to a student of the National Academy of Design in 1871. The Suydam medal is given annually by the Academy for achievements in life drawing and painting.

Submitted by Lui Antal Deák

Sources:
Peter Hastings Falk, Exhibition. Record Series.
Hale's magazine
Stripper's Guide: Ink-Slinger Profiles: H. Methfessel

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.
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