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Charles Dana Gibson (1867-1944)


Charles Dana Gibson (1867-1944)

Charles Dana Gibson was one of the most influential of American illustrators and cartoonists, best known for the assured pen drawings of social subjects that he contributed to magazines, and especially the ‘Gibson Girl’ – a term that has entered the language.
Charles Dana Gibson was born in Roxbury, Boston, Massachusetts, on 14 September 1867, the son of a salesman for the National Car Spring Company.
Growing up in Flushing, Long Island, New York, he revealed his artistic skills at an early age, and received encouragement from his parents. At the age of 11, he worked with the New York architect, George Browne Post, and, at the age of 13, spent two years studying with the sculptor, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, stopping only to complete his education at Flushing High School. Then, in 1884, he spent two years in professional training at the Art Students League of New York, while supporting himself as a commercial artist.
Regular contributions to
Life and Tid-Bits, from 1886, helped Gibson save enough to travel to Europe to further his studies. While there, he visited the cartoonist, George Du Maurier, whom he greatly admired, and spent two months at the Académie Julian, in Paris. On returning to New York, he established himself properly as an illustrator, for various magazines, but especially Life, which featured his social cartoons as central double-page spreads.

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