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 John Francis Holme  (1868 - 1904)

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Lived/Active: Illinois/Colorado/West Virginia      Known for: sketches, illustrator, engraver

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Ad Code: 4
John Francis Holme
from Auction House Records.
Evening in Convict Camp
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Corinth, West Virginia, John Francis Holme was an illustrator, engraver, and artist-reporter who traveled all over the country and died at the age of thirty-five.

He attended school in Keyser, West Virginia, and worked as a country newspaper printer, civil engineer, reporter, and newspaper artist.  Being a sketch artist, he captured major unfolding events, and traveled from east to west with newspapers in Wheeling, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and San Francisco.  He was known for catching the spirit of the time, particularly with his on-site drawings of the Johnstown Flood of 1889 and the Spanish American War.

In 1898, he founded the Holme School of Illustration in Chicago for newspaper artists. Because he had tuberculosis, his doctors sent him to Phoenix, Arizona in 1903, and there he established the Bander Log Press.  His trip was paid for by close friends including Mark Twain, Booth Tarkington, and Charles Dana Gibson.  "When a painting exhibition was held in Chicago in 1903, every artist amde and framed a tiny replica that was shipped to Holme in Phoenix in a Pullman chartered by William Randolph Hearst." (Samuels, p. 233)

John Holme died at age thirty five, and his obituary was carried by newspapers from all over the country.  Over 400 of his illustrations, etchings and lithographs are in the University of Arizona collection.

He was a member of the Palette & Chisel Club of Chicago and exhibited work at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Peggy and Harold Samuels, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West
Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art

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