Charles Dana Gibson
Golden Age Illustrator)
born Sept. 14, 1867, Roxbury, Mass., U.S.
died Dec. 23, 1944, New York, N.Y.
Artist and illustrator, whose Gibson girl drawings delineated the American
ideal of femininity at the turn of the century.
After studying for a year at the Art Students' League in New York City,
Gibson began contributing to the humorous weekly Life. His Gibson girl
drawings, modeled after his wife, followed and had an enormous vogue.
Gibson's facile pen-and-ink style, characterized by a fastidious
refinement of line, was widely imitated and copied. His popularity is
attested by the fact that Collier's Weekly paid him $50,000, said at the
time to have been the largest amount ever paid to an illustrator, for
which Gibson rendered a double-page illustration every week for a year,
usually of comic or sentimental situations of the day.
In 1905 he withdrew from illustrative work to devote himself to
portraiture in oil, which he had already taken up; but within a few years
he again returned to illustration. He also illustrated books, notably The
Prisoner of Zenda, and published a number of books of his drawings. London
as Seenby C.D. Gibson (1895–97), People of Dickens (1897), and Sketches in
Egypt (1899) were editions of travel sketches. The books of his famed
satirical drawings of “high society” included The Education of Mr. Pipp
(1899), Americans (1900),A Widow and Her Friends (1901), The Social Ladder
(1902), and Our Neighbors (1905).