Friday, October 31, 2014

Haydon Jones

My Great Grandfather , Haydon Jones

By Andrew Jones

Today, we would probably call him a sketch artist… but back in the days before newspapers gained the technology to reproduce photographs, Haydon Jones achieved national recognition as both an illustrator and a newspaperman… in the profession then known as “pictorial reporting.”

Born in Cleveland in 1870 into a family of coal miners, Jones showed an early aptitude for drawing, which moved both family and friends to raise the money he needed to leave the mines and study instead, at the Cleveland Institute of Art. Shortly after moving to New York City in 1889 to continue his studies at the Art Students League, at the age of 19, Jones became a staff artist at the New York Mail and Express.

In an era of red hot, day and night newspaper competition, quick and accurate artist-reporters were in great demand… and Jones’ outstanding skill in the field earned him the nickname “The Human Camera” from his colleagues on newspaper row.  Jones eventually progressed westward, taking up with the Chicago Times in 1892 and the San Francisco Chronicle in 1894.

In 1898, Jones briefly became worldwide news himself at the very beginning of the Spanish-American war, serving as correspondent for the New York World. Shortly after slipping into Cuba, coming ashore just outside Havana, Jones was captured by Spanish troops and quickly sentenced to be shot as a spy. Unaware that reports of his imprisonment were both making headlines and prompting negotiations over his fate, the artist nervously passed much of his time in prison agreeing to eager requests from Spanish officers for their sketches… hoping the likenesses might earn him some sympathy with his would be executioners. Jones and another captured American reporter were eventually freed in a negotiated prisoner exchange with Spain.

Undoubtedly Jones’ biggest scoop came in the wake of President McKinley’s assassination in 1901. Arriving in Buffalo a day after the President was shot there, Jones learned that no newspapermen were being allowed to see the suspected assassin, Leon Czolgosz. Undeterred, the artist somehow managed to arrange to have himself briefly locked up in the cell across from Czolgosz. Later that same day, Jones triumphantly returned to New York, delivering to his paper the only known likeness of the suspect at the time.

After several stints with the Boston Herald, as well as serving as the editorial and political cartoonist for the New York Post, Jones retired from the newspaper business in 1935. He died in 1954.

As simply an artist, Jones was a painter as well, but he was perhaps best known for his dry point etchings. He was famous in the field for his ability to etch his artwork directly onto fresh, virgin plates… with no previously drawn pencil sketches to guide his cuts. During his lifetime, Jones’ etchings were exhibited in New York and Boston galleries… and today they are held in many public and private collections.

Haydon Jones Checklist of Known Bookplates
Arthur Brentano (signed proof)
Grace A. Buxton 
Note from Lew  The Buxton image was sent by Andrew Jones with the following explanation:
I always thought that this particular bookplate had an entirely different look and feel to it... but was told by my father that there is indeed a somewhat obscured signature to the right of the chair. He claimed Haydon had executed this one differently than he normally would upon request. I took his word for it and never actually checked. Expanding  the image . I was unable to convincingly make out his signature ."

Dr.Charles E. Cameron
Margaret Carnegie
Fessenden School Class of 1923  
Mary Daniels Davenport
Mary E. Fitzgerald  
George Leander French 
Helen Eggleston Haskell (signed proof)
Henry Osborne Havemeyer
Joseph Jefferson Edition 
Haydon Jones 
Robert Haydon Jones 
Edward Lauterbach 
Randolph Cooper Lewis *
Jenny Biggs Merrill 
Jane Wallace Neilson 

Jane Wallace Neilson and Katharine Bishop Neilson
Wallace Platt Neilson 
Marion Erskine Platt 

Angus Shaw * 

Frank Burton Stevens 
Chauncey Devereux Stillman 
Eliot Wight Stillman 
Kenneth Stone’s Book 
* clearer Images needed
Bookplates of Randolph Lewis and Angus Shaw are illustrated in the January (1901?)
issue of The Optimist
Ref Journal of the Exlibris Society Volume XI  Page 125

A second elusive periodical is Artistic Bookplates . N.S., V1,#1.
In the 1903 issue Randolph Copper Lewis writes
about Haydon Jones .Mr. Cooper's  bookplate is illustrated.
There may be a copy of this periodical at The Huntington Library.
 I will follow up .

Miscellaneous Items

Newspaper Illustrations  

Christmas Card by Haydon Jones    

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