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 Corwin Knapp Linson  (1864 - 1959)

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Lived/Active: New Jersey      Known for: landscape, narrative, illustrator

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Ad Code: 3
Corwin Knapp Linson
from Auction House Records.
Boulevard Montparnasse
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Corwin Knapp Linson, 1864-1959, was an artist and illustrator who worked with his friend and roommate, Stephen Crane, author of the Civil War novella, The Red Badge of Courage. Crane read about the War in Century Magazine in Linson's New York studio, declaring, "These fellows spout eternally of what they did, but they never say how they feel. They are as emotionless as rocks." Linson would write a book about Crane, My Stephen Crane. Several versions of the manuscript, and photographs of Crane taken by Linson, are in the Special Collections Research Center of the Syracuse University Library in New York. In 1978, Heddy A. Richter wrote a study of Linson's book, The Long Foreground of Corwin Knapp Linson's My Stephen Crane.

In mid-May 1894, Linson and Crane went to Scranton, Pennsylvania, to investigate, for the McClure publishing company, working conditions for the coal miners. Linson illustrated the resulting article by Crane, "In the Depths of a Coal Mine," which was syndicated by McClure in various newspapers on July 22, 1894, and included in the August 1894 issue of McClure's Magazine.

Stephen Crane was one of those writers who sought the experience of the lives of the under-classes in America. Linson provided food and rest in his studio for Crane and another artist, William W. Carroll, after they had spent four days and three nights in New York's Bowery, gathering material which would become part of the writer's 1894, An Experiment in Misery.

Such work would link Crane with political economist Walter Wyckoff, who, in 1891, had traveled in poverty for nineteen months across the country, though he did not publish his accounts until 1897. Crane and Wyckoff would meet through Corwin Linson, who would later illustrate one of Wyckoff's articles.

Linson was an attendee at the 1896 Olympic Games held in Greece, and a co-signer of a letter to Greek royalty supporting use of Greece as the continuing site of future Olympics.

From the 1920s-1950s, Corwin Linson lived and worked in the borough of Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, bordering on Raritan Bay.

Linson's watercolor, The Lyre of Pindar: the Play at Olympia, 1896, and his wash drawing, Houses on the Side of the Acropolis, c. 1901, both appeared in George Horton's article, "Modern Athens," in the February 1901 issue of Scribner's magazine. The art work is now in the Cabinet of American Illustration, in the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, in Washington, D.C.


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