The Hamilton County School of Illustration
The "Golden Age of American Illustration," a term coined by art lovers to refer to the period from the 1890s to the 1920s, was driven by improvements in printing technology that allowed for accurate and inexpensive reproduction of art in books, periodicals, and magazines.
With low cost options for printing, there was a demand for high quality art to accompany fiction stories and advertisements. Those illustrations, which existed to advertise or draw interest to publications, would exist in tension with fine art which was referred to as "art for art's sake".
Nationally known artists like Charles Dana Gibson, Howard Pyle, N. C. Wyeth, and Norman Rockwell dominated this period in American Art but there were others who contributed in the illustrations that would litter newspapers and magazines. A surprising number of people from Hamilton County, Indiana, were contributors to this movement. Originally referred to in the February 2, 1913 edition of the Indianapolis Star as the "Noblesville School", we refer to this group of Hamilton county artists as the "Hamilton County School of Illustration".
This tour will introduce you to Granville Bishop, George and Worth Brehm, Franklin and Hanson Booth, Francis Brown, and Floyd Hopper, all of whom interacted with and contributed to the Hamilton County School of Illustration. Their combined work covered more than a century. Although many of them later moved away from Hamilton County, their artwork reflected the impact of growing up in this area.