with Richard Fayerweather Babcock´s artwork
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Illustrator, painter, muralist and educator, Richard Fayerweather Babcock’s long career was notable for his illustrations for encyclopedias, advertising and World War I propaganda posters. Born in Denmark, Iowa in 1887, Babcock was educated at the Art Students League in New York City, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, two art schools in Munich, Germany and in Spain. While in Europe, Babcock focused on poster design. He began living in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Ill., in 1913, and would live there for most of the rest of his life. He designed posters for the Navy Department during World War I, including a 1917 poster showing a sailor riding a torpedo. He joined the faculty of the Art Institute’s School in 1918 to teach poster design.
He resigned in 1922 and may have lived for a time in Pittsburgh. The Art Institute mounted an exhibition of Babcock’s watercolors and “decorations” in the summer of 1924, and later that year he rejoined the faculty of the Art Institute’s School, teaching illustration and commercial art. Over the following years he exhibited in Chicago and Indianapolis. His career as an educator also included teaching at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.
Babcock created illustrations for the Encyclopedia Britannica, the World Book encyclopedia and Compton’s Encyclopedia. His murals include “Wilderness, Winter River Scene” (1934) for the Legler Branch of the Chicago Public Library, depicting Father Jacques Marquette (1637-1675) and Native Americans, and “Russians Outside Port Arthur” for the U. S. Grant Hotel in San Diego. His advertising art included an illustrated booklet in 1930 for the “Golden State Limited” train that ran from Chicago to Los Angeles.
Babcock was also a musician; he was a founder of the Chicago Business Men’s Symphony Orchestra in 1921 (later the Chicago Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra) and a member of the National Association of Amateur Chamber Music Players. His artistic memberships included Chicago’s Cliff Dweller’s Club, Art Students League, Water Color Club, Society of Painters and Sculptors and Art Guild. He died in Evanston in 1954.
Hughes, E.M. (2002). “Babcock, Richard Fayerweather,” in “Artists in California 1786-1940”. Volume I, page 57. 3rd edition. ISBN 1884038085. Sacramento, CA. USA. Ed. Crocker Art Museum.