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 Jarvis Frary (Jervis) Hanks  (1799 - 1853)



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Lived/Active: Ohio / United Kingdom      Known for: itinerant portrait, landscape, silhouette, genre

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Master Hankes is primarily known as Jarvis Frary (Jervis) Hanks

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Ad Code: 3
Jarvis Fraru Hanks
from Auction House Records.
Portrait of a Man
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A drummer boy during the War of 1812, Jarvis Frary Hanks began his work as an artist as a sign painter in Wheeling, West Virginia in 1817, but he ever had a passion for music.  In 1819, he moved to Gallipolis, Ohio and formed a partnership in a sign painting firm.  He also began painting portraits, and in 1823 went to Philadelphia, hoping to become a student of Thomas Sully.  But he did not succeed, so he spent time copying Old Masters and American artists.

He supported his large family as self described "portrait painter and professor of music, lessons given in painting in oil and water color, drawing in pencil or crayon."

From 1825 to 1827, he worked in Zanesville, Cleveland, and Painesville, Ohio as a sign painter and began doing silhouettes.  He also went to New Orleans, Charleston and towns in Connecticut and signed his works "Master Hankes."

By 1835, he had returned to Cleveland, which became his home until his death.  There he painted signs, portraits, and designed flags and ran advertisements in several states in that region.  He also traveled again to the South, visiting Virginia in 1839 where he did silhouettes.

Although he had no formal art training, his work improved steadily over the years and was shown at the National Academy of Design on three separate occasions.  A man of many interests, he founded the Cleveland Mozart Society in 1847, was an antislavery activist, and belonged to the Liberty Party and the Society for Total Abstinence.

Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art
Mary S. Haverstock.  Published in Timeline, by the Ohio Historical Society,  March - June 2003. (Submitted by Edward P. Bentley, Art Researcher from Lansing, Michigan)

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