clyHLast Site Update: Feb. 2, 2005
Most content on this site is "static" ... intended most for those finding Darley's site for the first time.

ADDED Feb. 2, 2005: Story and photo of Mr. & Mrs' Pollack's gift of Darley's
"Shakespear" works to the University of Delaware
Go to the story



F.O.C. DARLEY ... "AN ILLUSTRATOR FOR ALL TIMES"

"...THE MOST ACCOMPLISHED AND PROLIFIC
AMERICAN ILLUSTRATOR BEFORE THE CENTENNIAL ..."(re: 1900)

(The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin , December, 2000, p. 52.)



Meet

FELIX OCTAVIUS CARR DARLEY (1821 - 1888)

Claymont, Delaware Resident and

" VICTORIAN AMERICA'S
MOST FAMOUS ILLUSTRATOR "


EMAIL RAY CLICK HERE

Illustrator of works by Charles Dickens, Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe,
Henry W. Longfellow, James Fenimore Cooper, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and many others.


This F.O.C. Darley web site is owned & maintained by Ray Hester, with the technical and research assistance of
Carol Digel, Research Historian for the Darley Society

Copyright © 1999 - 2005 Ray Hester.


(Click button) NOTE: This search will take you to the "page" where the word/phrase is;
once on the page, use your "edit / find" feature and "find" the word-s
NOTE: When using our search, you will see a couple of discrete ads.


SOME KEY ACOLADES FOR F.O.C. DARLEY
PERHAPS BEST, AND MOST SIMPLY, TELL US
WHO HE WAS AND WHAT HE CONTRIBUTED:

<---------------------------------------------->

"His works helped forge our national identity"
(New York Public Library, 1999)

"..the first true illustrator of the American Spirit"
(Book of the Artists, 1867)

"The first major American Illustrator..."
(Brandywine River Museum guide brochure)

"...the most accomplished and prolific American illustrator before the centennial ..."
(The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin , December, 2000, p. 52.)

"(he) dominated American ... illustration for nearly a half-century..."
(The Philadelphia Inquirer, 1999)

"Perhaps the best of Dickens American Illustrators"
(Dickens' Illustrators, F.G. Kitton, 1899)

"...(he) was mid-nineteenth century America's most popular book illustrator"
(Delaware Art Museum exhibit catalogue, "...illustrated by Darley," 1978, C. Anne Hahler)

"Perhaps the true father of American illustration was F.O.C. Darley ..."
(Myth, Magic, and Mystery, Catalogue of The Chrysler Museum of Art exhibit by the same name; 1997. Essay by Michael Patrick Hearn)

"...one of the most famous illustrators of his time."
(The New York Times, 6/25/99)

"(Darley) can well be considered America's first important illustrator. ... (he) was the first of a new Amerian school of illustrators which was to successfully challenge the dominance of English and Continental illustration during the mid-nineteenth century."
(Hall of Illustrator's comments in accepting Darley into the Hall in June, 2001)

"... Darley must be considered the most important of the many artists who have provided illustrations for Cooper's novels, in part because -- unlike most others -- he illustrated all 32 of Cooper's novels, and part because those illustrations (first appearing in the Townsend edition of 1859-61) were so widely copied in the decades that followed."
(The Fenimore Cooper Society, August, 2001)

"Darley is one of the most famous illustrators in America prior to the Civil War.
He illustrated ... many of the Southwestern Humorists, histories of American Indians, etc.
In so doing, he helped define the ways in which Amerian readers imagined much of their own past.
(American Studies at the University of Virginia; Go to web site

"His art is more truthful and full of character than anything of a similar kind which we have seen...." From The SATURDAY MUSEUM (Magazine), Edgar Allan Poe, Editor, 1842

THERE ARE MORE ACCOLADES ... GO THERE


THREE EXAMPLES OF DARLEY'S WORK, AND USE

Darley first distinguished himself with this "city" and western art. Many of these illustrations were so good that they are still used today. An unusual application is Darley's famous, "Emigrants Crossing the Plains" used in a recent SMITHSTONIAN MAGAZINE article on the role of oxen in the westward movement and as a backdrop for a recent ad in HISTORICAL TRAVEL MAGAZINE (below, right):


Darley didn't do a lot of oil paintings, and when he did, they usually were by personal request. This is an example, TOUCHSTONE AND AUDREY, owned and exhibited by the BRANDYWINE RIVER MUSEUM, Chadds Ford, PA (below, left)


Some of Darley's most lasting and famous, high-impact illustrations were of the American Revolution. One of the famous ones is this illustration, "FIRST BLOW FOR LIBERTY" (Concord, MA) (Below center).


LINKS TO DARLEY INFO FOLLOW
Links follow; links follow

    JANUARY 2005 FEATURE...


A FEW GOOD LINKS FOR DARLEY
EXAMPLES & INFORMATION:


FROM THE SOCIETY OF ILLUSTRATORS

Felix Darley was named to the Society’s HALL OF FAME in 2001. Key Society comments were:
  • “… considered America's first important illustrator.”
  • “the first of a new American school of illustrators which was to successfully challenge the dominance of English and Continental illustration during the mid-nineteenth century.”
  • GO TO THE SOCIETY OF ILLUSTRATORS WEB SITE


THE PRINCETON UNIVERSITY DARLEY COLLECTION ...

Shows one 1841 drawing on line (one of Darley's first). This site details the Darley collection in their Graphic Arts Collection, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library, 2004. Princeton has a huge Darley collection as you will see from the list.


IN 1999, THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY IN NEW YORK CITY
HAD A MAJOR DARLEY EXHIBIT

  • The exhibit’s press release heading: “Library Retrospective Honors Illustrator Whose Works Helped Forge Our National Identity.” “INVENTING AMERICA’S PAST” GO TO THE FULL PRESS RELEASE

  • THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY PICTURE COLLECTION ONLINE (Selected): F.O.C. Darley This is a great collection of about 70 of Darley’s well known prints (all black/white) ... Carol Digel, GO THERE


    A GOOD SAMPLING OF DARLEY PRINTS


    EXAMPLES OF DARLEY’S WORK FROM “ART CYCLOPEDIA”

  • GO TO ART CYCLOPEDIA'S WEB SITE


    BRANDYWINE RIVER MUSEUM, CHADDS FORD, PA


    NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE’S “SCARLET LETTER,” ORIGINAL EDITION DONE BY DARLEY

    Darley’s intricate line drawing ability was exhibited in this well known novel.

    GO TO THE “HAWTHORNE IN SALEM” WEB SITE


    DARLEY DRAWS THE FIRST “MODERN DAY” SANTA CLAUSE IN 1862
    ... or ... "Today's Modern-image Santa was 'born' in Claymont Delaware"

    Darley was chosen as the illustrator for Clement C. Moore’s FIRST printing of “A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS” IN 1862. Darley used Washington Irving’s description of an American DUTCH St. Nick in “A KNICKENBACKER’S NEW YORK” first published in 1821 (Plump, short fur-lined coat, black boots, pipe, etc), REVISED in 1849 with Darley illustrating the book.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A CHRISTMAS CARD ... Featuring Darley's renderings for
    Clement Moore's 1862, "A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS," ... and ... More on Darley's Santa:
    DARLEY WAS THE FIRST TO DRAW WHAT'S KNOWN AS TODAY'S SANTA GO THERE
    (Also see an example at the end of this site)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    THE INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S DIGITAL LIBRARY SITE shows all 8 pages of the story with illustrations by Darley GO THERE {{ Choose "standard" to view all 8 pages }}. Note that the house on page 4 is basically the Darley House in Claymont, Delaware where he lived from 1850 until his death in 1888.

    So well known was Darley, that his name, NOT Moore’s appeared on the booklet’s cover (Moore wrote the poem in 1822 for his children).

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    WAS C. MOORE THE TRUE AUTHOR OF "A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS?

    There is lots of evidence that say that Henry Livingston was the true author.
    CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE GO TO THE AMERICAN ANTIQUARIAN’S WEB SITE TO SEE THE DRAWINGS (from an 1879 reprint of the original)
    GO THERE This site also speaks of the authorship debated: Moore or Livingston?


    SEE 73 DARLEY PRINTS ON ONE SITE ...
    A GREAT VARIETY OF SUBJECTS & WHERE THEY APPEARED

    GO THERE
    For those prints on the San Francisco Museum site, use 17" view,
    then click on the print to enlarge it.


    Go to MORE Darley links & Information


    READY TO LEARN MORE?

    LEARN ABOUT PRINTING TECHNIQUES

    See the comprehensive reference of printing techniques
    (steel engraving, photogravure, etc.)
    from Haley & Steel’s web site (Specialists in the sale & care of art)
    GO TO THEIR SITE


    [ Click below for pop-up menu ]
    This section will be upgraded over the next few months
    (This whole page must load before the links work)


    THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!
    Please bookmark our site and check back for updates


    Click to Email Ray Hester, Webmaster
    Click to Email Carol Digel, Research Historian



    Get a GoStats hit counter
    [Since early yr. 2000]

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    GO BACK TO TOP PAGE

    =================================================

    September 2004 NEWSLETTER of the University of Delaware Library Associates

    ( Reproduced with permission: Copyright University of Delaware Library Associates )

    Gift of Elliott B. and Eileen S. Pollack

    Elliott B. and Eileen S. Pollack of Hartford, Connecticut, generously contributed The Darley Gallery of Shakespearian Illustrations (1884) by Felix Octavius Carr Darley to the University of Delaware Library. Darley (1821-1888) was the most famous American illustrator of the mid-nineteenth century. He illustrated works by major authors of the period, including James Fenimore Cooper, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Charles Dickens. The Darley Gallery of Shakespearean Illustrations, a deluxe edition of thirty India ink wash drawings produced as photogravures, was Darley's last major work and the culmination of his career as an illustrator.

    The Pollacks visited the Morris Library on May 24, 2004 to view the publication which was included in the ''Literature Reimagined" exhibition in the Special Collections Exhibition Gallery. Iris Snyder, Associate Librarian in Special Collections and curator of the exhibition, gave them a guided tour.

    There is a Delaware connection to Darley. He spent the last twenty-nine years of his life (and almost two thirds of his career) in Claymont, Delaware. Many of his famous drawings were done from his studio in his estate, "The Wren's Nest." Darley died at "The Wren's Nest" in 1888. His wife, Jane Colburn Darley, lived there until her death in 1916. The house had only two other owners until 1991, when after sitting vacant for more than ten years, Ray and Judith Hester bought it, and after two years of renovations and decorating, opened it as "Darley Manor Inn, Bed and Breakfast."

    ============================================================

    (BELOW IS THE CAPTION ... IN FULL DETAIL ... UNDER THE PUBLISHED PHOTOGRAPH)

    Left to right in the special Collections Exhibition Gallery: William Digel; Ray Hester, Executive Director of the Darley Society, Editor of ihe Darley Web Site, and Proprietor of the Darley Inn in Claymont, Delaware; Susan Brynteson, The May Morris Director of Libraries; Mark Samuels Lasner, Senior Research Fellow, Special Collections Department; Judith Hester, Proprietor of the Darley Inn in Claymont, Delaware; Eileen S. Pollack; Elliott B. Pollack, Attorney; Carol Digel, Research Historian, The Darley Society, Inc.; Timothy D. Murray, Head, Special Collections Department; and Iris R. Snyder, Associate Librarian, Special Collections Department.

    There was an earlier story in DELAFORUM.COM by Jim Parks, GO THERE

    Return to top of web site -------------------------------------------------------------------