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 Henry Patrick Raleigh  (1880 - 1944)

About: Henry Patrick Raleigh
 

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Lived/Active: New York/California/Oregon      Known for: genre-society, illustrator, etcher

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Ad Code: 3
Henry Patrick Raleigh
from Auction House Records.
Two Women Seated in Interior
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from The Henry Raleigh Archive:
Henry Patrick Raleigh
The masterful story illustrator of the “Golden Age of American Illustration”

Notes of interest:

For almost thirty years, most issue of the Saturday Evening Post featured the drawings of Henry Raleigh. In all he was called upon to illustrate over five hundred Post stories for such revered authors as Stephen Vincent Benet, William Faulkner, Sinclair Lewis, and Somerset Maugham.

Raleigh was considered the High Society Illustrator of the “Gatsby Era”. He was the favorite artist of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Agatha Christie who chose Raleigh to illustrate stories.


• Henry Patrick Raleigh was born in Portland, Oregon in 1880.
• At 12 years old he left school to help support his family by selling newspapers.
• His next job was with a coffee-importing firm. The owner of the firm took a liking to the bright child and offered to pay Raleigh’s tuition to attend the renowned San Francisco art school, the Hopkins Academy.
• From the beginning of his art education, he outpaced the other students.
• At 17 he got his first job, as an artist, with the San Francisco Bulletin newspaper. He was an "on the scene" newspaper artist and reporter.
• William Randolph Hearst discovered Henry and asked him to relocate to New York City to work for the Journal.
• Raleigh covered all of the society events to sketch the well-dressed men and beautiful women of New York society.
• By the time he was 25 he was one of the highest paid newspaper artist in America. And, this work only required him to work 3 days per week.
• He decided to branch out to illustrate stories for national monthly magazines.
• Early assignments came from Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazar, Collier's, and Saturday Evening Post.
• In 1914 Raleigh was chosen by Collier’s to provide illustrations for a five-part serialized story by the most popular author of the period, H. G. Wells. The “Bealby” story was immensely important for Collier’s and overnight made Raleigh one of the most sought after illustrators in America.
• In 1917 WWI was in its third year and Raleigh’s “Hunger Poster” was selected by the government for a distribution of 5 million copies.
• The 1920’s was age of optimism. The magazines of the period grew in readership and profitability and so did the artists. Raleigh worked at a feverish pace.
• During the depression, and for three decades, his average income was well over $100,000 per year. He was one of the highest paid illustrators America and perhaps the word. And, he was often been referred to as the most prolific commercial artist of the period.
• By his forty-third year, as a commercial artist, he had published over 20,000 illustrations.
• In a 1925 article rebounded Art Critic, Evert Shinn proclaimed him “America’s greatest illustrator”.
• He enjoyed the life of a celebrity and took on the attributes of high society that was the subject of his art. He had a wonderful wife and beautiful children; several homes; yachts; and most years he traveled abroad. He typically devoted eight months a year to his career as an artist.
• He was the star of the famous Westport, Conn, art colony.
• But this lifestyle came to an abrupt end in when 1939 Saturday Evening Post restyled their magazine to take advantage of their new printing equipment that could print color photographs. The Golden Age of Illustration was over and most of the magazine illustrators were out of work.
• Henry Raleigh’s career quickly spiraled out of control. He was too proud to ask for help and could no longer support his extravagant lifestyle. In 1944 he took his own life by jumping from the window of his Manhattan hotel.

Biography from Crocker Art Museum Store:
Etcher, illustrator, lithographer, painter. Born in Portland, OR on Sept. 23, 1880. "Harry" Raleigh moved to San Francisco with his family in 1888. After studying at the Mark Hopkins Art Institute during 1896-1901, he took his first job as a sketch artist for the San Francisco Examiner. While there, William Randolph Hearst noticed his talent and encouraged him to move to NYC which he did in 1913. There he continued newspaper work for the World while illustrating for Harper's Bazaar, Saturday Evening Post, and Collier's. Raleigh died in New York in 1944. Exh: SFAA, 1897-1900; Calif. State Fair, 1901; Bohemian Club, 1904; Salmagundi Club, 1916 (prize). Ber; Fid; Ben; AAA 1913-31; WWAA 1936-41.
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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