1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Gibson, Charles Dana

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5565451911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 11 — Gibson, Charles Dana

GIBSON, CHARLES DANA (1867–  ), American artist and illustrator, was born at Roxbury, Massachusetts, on the 14th of September 1867. After a year’s study at the schools of the Art Students’ League, he began with some modest little drawings for the humorous weekly Life. These he followed up with more serious work, and soon made a place for himself as the delineator of the American girl, at various occupations, particularly those out of doors. These obtained an enormous vogue, being afterwards published in book form, running through many editions. The “Gibson Girl” stood for a type of healthy, vigorous, beautiful and refined young womanhood. Some book illustrations followed, notably for The Prisoner of Zenda. He was imitated by many of the younger draughtsmen, copied by amateurs, and his popularity was shown in his engagement by Collier’s Weekly to furnish weekly for a year a double page, receiving for the fifty-two drawings the sum of $50,000, said to have been the largest amount ever paid to an illustrator for such a commission. These drawings covered various local themes and were highly successful, being drawn with pen and ink with masterly facility and great directness and economy of line. So popular was one series, “The Adventures of Mr Pipp,” that a successful play was modelled on it. In 1906, although besieged with commissions, Gibson withdrew from illustrative work, determining to devote himself to portraiture in oil, in which direction he had already made some successful experiments; but in a few years he again returned to illustration.