Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Graphics: Wong Chin Foo and New York Chinatown, 1888

June 1888
“The Chinese in New York”
Illustrated by John Durkin (signed J.D. or J. Durkin)

Wong Chin Foo
Schlicht & Field, 1888

September 8, 1888

September 3, 1896
A revised version of “The Chinese in New 
York”. The engraving originally appeared 
in The Cosmopolitan

September 10, 1896
A revised version of “The Chinese in New 
York”. Photograph and most of the engravings 
originally appeared in The Cosmopolitan

September 6, 1900
A revised version of “The Chinese in New 
York”. Photograph and most of the engravings 
originally appeared in The Cosmopolitan

May 26, 1877
Wong Ching [sic] Foo

SIDEBAR: About the Artist John Durkin
John Durkin was an artist known for his work in magazines. The date and place of his birth is not known. He passed away on May 12, 1903, in Brooklyn, New York. A death certificate said he was 43 years old (born around 1860). Newspaper reports said he was 35 years old (born around 1868) and from the West. Information about his early life and art training have not been found. At some point Durkin moved to New York City and established himself as an illustrator. 

So far, the earliest mention of Durkin was found in W. C. Coup’s New United Monster Shows advertisement published in the Atlanta Constitution (Georgia), March 29, 1882. Durkin is mentioned just below the subhead, “Assassination of Garfield”.

Harper’s Weekly, January 19, 1884, published Durkin’s drawing of the Statue of Liberty. 

The Atlanta Constitution, June 20, 1885, mentioned Durkin in the last paragraph of “The New Chautauqua”.

The New York Herald, July 19, 1885, said Durkin made “some excellent studies of Swiss architecture” in the third issue of Art and Decoration

Harper’s Weekly, December 25, 1885, reported the trip by several writers and artists, including Durkin, to the South. 
The New South.
The gentlemen who on behalf of the publishing house of Harper & Brothers have recently made a prolonged excursion in the Southern States returned a few days ago with the most delightful impressions of their journey. The party, which made the tour on the invitation and as the guests of Mr. John H. Inman, a merchant with large interests North and South, and a devoted and enterprising friend of American industries, was composed of Messrs. Charles Dudley Warner, Kirk Munroe, Charles Graham, John Durkin, Horace Bradley, and William Armitage Harper, authors and artists, and a representative of the Harper publishing house. They were received every where with a courtesy and kindness and hospitality which cannot be forgotten. The object of the visit was to see the “new South,” to observe the social, industrial, and educational changes of the last few years, in order that the actual condition of “the South” might be faithfully reported by pen and pencil, and the good feeling which springs from accurate knowledge, and which binds every part of the country more closely than ever before, may be confirmed and strengthened.

For such a purpose there could be no happier selection of a leader than Mr. Warner. His trained faculty of shrewd observation, his just mind and ready sympathy, his great intelligence and large experience of travel, his tact and humor and cheeriness, which make him always a charming companion, especially fitted him for this enterprise. His companions were all animated by the same spirit, and the little private embassy, we are sure, was a very happy representation, which “the North” cannot send nor “the South” welcome without mutual advantage. The party left New York on the 2d of November, and proceeded to Lynchburg, Richmond, Danville, Atlanta, Augusta, Charleston, Knoxville, Chattanooga, South Pittsburgh, Nashville, Birmingham, Montgomery, Pensacola, Mobile, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Vicksburg, Memphis, and Louisville. They were received with friendly warmth by the Mayors of the cities and Boards of Trade and industrial corporations and clubs and prominent citizens. In New Orleans Mr. Charles Gayarré, the historian of Louisiana, at a pleasant meeting of the municipal authorities and other citizens, made an eloquent and admirable speech of welcome, breathing the most generous national spirit blended with a just local pride. The members of the party visited, under the best auspices, the schools and colleges and mines and factories and plantations, seeing the various processes of many industries, and obtaining specific and valuable information of every kind, and they have returned with the profound conviction that the impulse of a new and healthy life has penetrated the whole frame of life and activity in those States, which will tend to make the common national life stronger and better. ...
The New York Herald, January 24, 1886, covered the benefit at the Academy of Music.
... The artists who will sketch on the stage of the Academy of Music at the Thomas benefit to-morrow afternoon are Messrs. Napoleon Sarony, Edward Moran, Charles Graham, Philip Goatcher, Charles Holm, Frank Beard, William Voeghtlin, W. H. Lippincott L. W. Seavey, Albert Operti, James A. Wales, John Rough, J. P. Byrne, John Durkin, Patrick Riley, John Mackey and Thomas Worth. There is a long list of artists and others who have contributed or loaned pictures, sketches and bric-a-brac. Messrs. D. B. Sheahar and Theodore Bauer will model in clay. The artistic body will be introduced by the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher. There is a long and attractive program and equally long and attractive list of doorkeepers, ushers, auctioneers, musical directors, supers and honorary committee men. Aunt Louisa Eldridge will preside at the programme table, assisted by several young ladies. ...
Durkin was mentioned twice in the New York Dispatch.
February 28, 1886
The benefit given at Philadelphia in aid of the Actors’ Fund, last week, netted $1,100. John P. Smith and Tony Pastor took over as an attraction Messrs. N. Sarony, Henry A. Thomas, Albert Operti and John Durkin, the artists, who were the most entertaining feature of the show.
March 28, 1886
Carll’s Opera-House, at New Haven, was thronged on Tuesday night last, on the occasion of the Elk’s benefit. The Madison Square Theatre “Saints and Sinners” Company were rapturously applauded, especially Mr. Stoddard, as the old father. A novel feature of the entertainment was the introduction, between the third and fourth acts, of “lightning sketches” by several New York artists, among them Mr. Geo. Halm, the decorator, Mr. V. Gribayedoff, Mr. John Durkin and Sig. Operti. Mr. Augustus Heckle, though not an artist by profession, made a handsome crayon drawing of Mr. Sarony.
The New York Times, November 9, 1886, reported the Harper & Brothers writers and artists, including Durkin, in the South. 

The front page of the Daily Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana), November 29, 1886, reported the arrival of the Harper & Brothers writers and artists, who had brief introductions. 
Mr. Durkin is associated with him [Mr. Graham] in his business, and has profited by his experience and skill. Mr. Durkin is an adept in certain branches.
Harper’s Weekly, January 29, 1887, featured the work of the Harper & Brothers writers and artists in “The Industrial South”, and “The New South”. Durkin depicted “Scenes in Virginia”. 

The Sunday Inter Ocean (Chicago, Illinois), March 13, 1887, mentioned Durkin at the end of the first paragraph. He was a member of the Kit Kat Club.

The New York Herald, December 7, 1887, said 
In the concert room Sarony, Edward Moran, Charles Graham, H.A. Thomas, Hughson Hawley, L. W. Soavey, J. W. Rough and John Durkin made crayon sketches for the audience, which were sold as soon as finished. Operti drew splendid likenesses of Grand Master F. B. Lawrence and of General Secretary Ehlers. Artist Beard could not be present, and sent a painting of a dog’s head as his contribution

The New York Evening World, June 19, 1888, said “John Durkin, the artist, will summer in the Berkshire hills.”

The New York Daily Graphic, July 20, 1889, said
... A group sitting just beneath the brilliant lights that surmount the roof of the garden, is known to all who are familiar with the pictures in our great magazines. The oldest of them has a face that might have been cut from a portrait gallery of the last century; clear cut, smoothly shaven, gray-haired and remarkably handsome for an old man, is Walter Pelham, the artist and humorist.

Near him, intently studying the bubbles in his beer glass, is a short, slender, and restless young man, whose face would suggest a theological student rather than an artist. An artist he is, however, and one of a very high order, as all know who have seen John Durkin’s drawings in our great monthlies. ...
The Cosmopolitan, August 1891, said 
... Without going outside of New York I could point out a score of men who deserve more than a passing mention. As pure manipulators of the ‘outline,’ Messrs. Coultaus and Kerr of the Herald have attained a high degree of proficiency, while Messrs. Knickerbocker and Weill of the same paper shine as adepts at rapid composition. The Herald’s political cartoons are drawn by Mr. Hamilton of Judge. The Sun enjoys the occasional services of Mr. John Durkin, a strong character delineator, and the regular contributions of Louis D. Arata, O. H. von Gottschalk and W. A. Bertram. In the World’s columns we still find McDougall’s cartoons, faulty in drawing, but brimful of the broad humor that appeals to the masses; also the graceful drawings of Archie Gunn and the efficient all-round work of George Folsom.  ...
In 1896, Durkin illustrated Florence Warden’s Forge and Furnace

The Morning Times (Washington, DC), May 17, 1896, reported the opening of the Illustrators Club.

Durkin’s death was reported in the following newspapers. 

Brooklyn Citizen (New York), May 12, 1903


Died of Apoplexy.
A man about 35 years old and fairly well dressed, who from papers and cards in his wearing apparel was said to be John Durkin, an artist of No. 319 West Thirty-eighth street, Manhattan, died early this morning in the Eastern District Hospital, to which institution he was taken last evening suffering from apoplexy. The man was going down South Eighth street and stepped into John Gillen’s saloon. Before he could utter a word he was stricken with apoplexy. He was taken to the hospital, but never recovered consciousness.

Daily People (New York, New York), May 13, 1903

Two Sudden Deaths
“I’ll take just one moire drink.”
Uttering these words, a man said to be John Durkin, an artist, of No. 319 West Thirty-eight street, raised the glass to his lips, but before he could quaff its contents dropped to the floor and died of apoplexy.

Durkin’s death occurred in the saloon of John Gillen, Wythe avenue and Taylor street, Brooklyn.

At the West Thirty-eighth street address no one of the name of John Durkin is known. ...

New York Herald, May 13, 1903, Obituary Notes

John Durkin, an artist, whose work was well known in the illustrated papers and magazines of this city, died from apoplexy in the Eastern District Hospital, Brooklyn, yesterday. He came here from the West about twelve years ago, and was thirty-five years old. He was seized in the street by an attack of apoplexy on Monday night and became unconscious. He was removed to the hospital but died without regaining consciousness.
Boston Evening Transcript (Massachusetts), May 13, 1903


Mr. John Durkin, an artist, whose work was well known in the illustrated papers and magazines of New York, died yesterday. He came from the West about twelve years ago and was thirty-five years old.

Durkin was laid to rest at Cedar Grove Cemetery

Further Reading and Viewing
Harper’s Weekly, June 29, 1889 
The Cosmopolitan, March 1890

(Next post on Wednesday: Michael Chen, Artist)

No comments:

Post a Comment