Charles Dana Gibson

Charles Dana Gibson, pen and ink illustration
Charles Dana Gibson, pen and ink illustration

Charles Dana Gibson was one of America’s great “Golden Age” illustrators, and one of its finest proponents of pen and ink illustration.

He is particularly known for his drawings of the “Gibson Girl”, an idealized example of what at the time was becoming known as the “New Woman”. The Gibson Girl became a symbol of women who were coming to the fore and taking on new roles in society. Gibson’s drawings also made the Gibson Girl a fashion icon.

There are a number of remarkable pen and ink artists from that period, toward the end of the 19th century and into the 20th, but few had the same combination of delicate subtlety and bold freedom that exemplified Gibson’s command of the pen.

His illustrations ranged to many other subjects. The Library of Congress has a nice online exhibition feature that outlines some of his major areas of interest, while focusing on the Gibson Girl.

Many of the reproductions of Gibson’s drawings appear to reflect the discoloration of the paper on which they were drawn, but they are still highly enjoyable.

For more, see my previous posts on Charles Dana Gibson.