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The craftsman
Vol. XVII, Number 3 (December 1909)

Foremost American illustrators: vital significance of their work,   pp. 266-280 PDF (4.7 MB)

Page 280

living people stream through them, Jews and Gentiles, every nation-
ality, every type, and all in the process of amalgamation in the great-
est smelting pot in the world.
    What more honest intimate history of the development of any
 nation could be shown than is outlined in the work of these illustrators
 Where sorrow is presented it rests on so wide an understanding of life
 that its complement of happiness is inevitably suggested; where evil
 dwells in a subject, the imagination is also stirred to behold good,
 necessary and close at hand. The greatness of this art lies in the
 fulness of its presentation of life. It is legitimate because it has seen
 all sides of the truth, and has discovered the most significant and
 beautiful way of telling it.
    It is impossible to present an article on modern American illus-
trators without making mention of the work of such masters as
Frederic Remington and     Charles Dana Gibson.     We have not
dwelt at length upon the quality of their work because they have,
as older men and earlier in the field, already won their laurels from
the reluctant public, and, in the case of the former, practically moved
out of the field of illustrating. And yet the criticism that is sometimes
made of Mr. Remington's painting that "he is primarily an illus-
trator," seems to me one of the greatest compliments that could be
paid him. In an exhibition of his work, such as was held at Knoedler's
last winter, there was a presentation of conditions of American life
which rendered his pictures of vast significance to the nation. To
those of our readers who feel, even as we do, that we are giving in
this paragraph too slight a presentation of Mr. Remington's work,
we would refer to an article which dwelt at length on the various
phases of his artistic career, published in THE CRAFTSMAN for March,
nineteen hundred and nine. Unfortunately, we cannot supplement
our notice of Mr. Gibson's work in the same way, but the press and
the magazines of the country for years past can do this kindly service
for us, for Mr. Gibson is not only known on two continents as the
creator of an interesting and beautiful type of American woman, but
also as one of the most searching students of human life, and as a
masterly draughtsman.

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