William Hamilton Gibson - Encyclopedia




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GIBSON, WILLIAM HAMILTON (1850-1896), American lustrator, author and naturalist, was born in Sandy Hook, onnecticut, on the 5th of October 1850. The failure and (in 868) death of his father, a New York broker, put an end to his :udies in the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and made it ecessary for him to earn his own living. From the life insurance usiness, in Brooklyn, he soon turned to the study of natural istory and iliustration,he had sketched flowers and insects hen he was only eight years old, had long been interested in otany and entomology, and had acquired great skill in making ax fiowers,and his first drawings, of a technical character, rere published in 1870. He rapidly became an expert illustrator nd a remarkably able wood-engraver, while he also drew on tone with great success. He drew for The American Agriulturlst, hearth and Home, and Appletons American Cycloaedia; for The Youths Companion and St Nicholas; and then or various Harper publications, especially Harpers Monthly lagazine, where his illustrations first gained popularity. He Lied of apoplexy, brought on by overwork, on the 16th of uly 1896 at Washington, Connecticut, where he had had a ummer studio, and where in a great boulder is inset a relief iortrait of him by H. K. Bush-Brown. He was an expert thotographer, and his drawings had a nearly photographic nd almost microscopic accuracy of detail which slightly lessened heir artistic value, as a poetic and sometimes humorous quality omewhat detracted from their scientific worth. Gibson was)erfectly at home in black-and-white, but rarely (and feebly) ised colors. He was a popular writer and lecturer on natural sistory; in his best-known lecture, on Cross-Fertilization, he ised ingenious charts and models. -

Gibson illustrated S. A. Drakes In the Heart of the White Mounains, C. D. Warners New South, and E. P. Roes Natures Serial Story; and his own books, The Complete American Trapper (1876; vised, 1880, as Camp Life in the Woods); Pastoral Days: or, ~Wemories of a New England Year (1880); Highways and Byways :I882); Happy Hunting Grounds (1886); Strolls by Starlight and Sunshine (189f); Sharp Eyes: a Ramblers Calendar (1891); Our iLdible Mushrooms and Toadstools (1895); Eye Spy: Afield with Vature among Flowers and Animate Things (1897); and My Studic lVeighbours (1898).

See John C. Adams, William Hamilton Gibson, Artist, Naturalist 4uthor (New York, 1901).1901).

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