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The Special Artist in American Culture

A Biography of Frank Hamilton Taylor (1846-1927)


Nancy L. Gustke

Frank Hamilton Taylor represents an important, but overlooked, group of documentalists of American history - Special Artists. These were men and women who wrote and illustrated articles for the pictorial press which included Harper's Weekly and Frank Leslie's. Well known Specials like Winslow Homer and Frederic Remington have received only cursory acknowledgment of the importance of their early work for these papers. However, studying the works and lives of Special Artists, like Taylor, can give unique insights into the development of American culture. His achievements give us a better understanding of the emergence of middle-class values at the turn of the century.