Drawn to the sea: Charles Bradford Hudson (1865-1939), artist, author, army officer, with special notice of his work for the United States Fish Commission and Bureau of Fisheries.
Fishes (Natural history)
Fishing boats (Natural history)
Springer, Victor G.
Murphy, Kristin A.
|Publication:||Name: Marine Fisheries Review Publisher: Superintendent of Documents Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Agricultural industry; Business Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 U.S. Department of Commerce ISSN: 0090-1830|
|Issue:||Date: Fall, 2009 Source Volume: 71 Source Issue: 4|
|Product:||Product Code: 0910000 Fishing; 3731370 Fishing Vessels NAICS Code: 11411 Fishing; 336611 Ship Building and Repairing SIC Code: 3731 Ship building and repairing|
|Geographic:||Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States|
CBH Authored Publications
CBH's publications are noteworthy for their variety, facility of expression, and often for their humor. Included among those we located (and there are probably some we missed (114)) are: two novels (his only fiction, both based on historical events); three social commentaries (an almost genetically based attack on the behavior of the German army during WWI; a deploring of the physical decay of historic Monterey, Calif.; and a remarkably prescient discussion of the historically abusive treatment of China by the West and what will result in the future; two explaining and justifying the work of the U.S. Fish Commission; several popular articles describing the habits of interesting fishes; one describing the history, life, and architecture of the Latin Quarter in Paris; and one, a letter, presumably unintended for publication, describing his pursuit of painting desert landscapes. Most of the articles, but neither of the novels, are adorned with his own informative illustrations. In the following discussion we list these publications chronologically, quoting from and commenting on them, and reproducing some of their included illustrations. (115)
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The earliest CBH authored article we found (Hudson, 1893a) was published in May 1893. It was probably written during 1892, the date indicated for all but one or two (undated) of its 11 included illustrations. In the article, CBH describes the methods of model making, the models, and other preparations for the USFC exhibit at the 1893 Chicago World Fair (World's Columbian Exposition), for which the Commission's plans began in May 1891.
All of the illustrations are black-and-white drawings and, except for an illustration of the fisheries building, depict models of fishes, ships (including a fourth CBH drawing of the UFSC schooner Grampus), and the process of model making. We reproduce all the illustrations of the fishes and ships (but only one of the model making process) in our Figure 43. The illustrations of the fishes are among the first of fishes that CBH executed, as well as published, either for himself or others. CBH was preparing drawings of plans of fishing vessels for the Commission's exhibit and saw an opportunity, perhaps, to additionally augment his finances. Likening the exhibit and its preparations to an octopus, CBH (1893a:598) extolled:
"The whole continent and the deep seas beyond come within the range of the gigantic tentacles of the Fish Commission Exhibit. Everything that pertains to fish, fishing or fishermen is its prey. Photographs, drawings, clothing and life-size models of fishermen; photographs, drawings, alcoholic specimens and models of the fish they catch; photographs, drawings, plans, specifications and accurate models of the craft from which they catch them; lines, nets, spears, traps, rods, reels and gear of every description have been brought together into a collection larger and more perfect than any that the world has ever yet beheld."
CBH (1893b) next published "Curious breadwinners of the deep," an article about the peculiarities of various fishes, most of which are actually shallow dwelling. It contains 11 line drawings that CBH made in 1892 and 1893, four of which are indicated as having been done in Paris, during the period when he was studying at the Academie Julian. All of the illustrations depict readily recognizable types of fishes. We reproduce four of the illustrations, three representing individual species in habitats (Fig. 44) and one reproducing a medley of a large number of species representing many different families (Fig. 45).
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His choice of subject was undoubtedly influenced by what he learned from his employment, on salary or contract, as an illustrator for the USFC. The article describes several species of fishes that have unusual behaviors or anatomy. CBH's writing is clear and often reads as if written for a scientific journal, but he also capably infuses his subject with humor, as in his discussion of the rather ugly and voracious anglerfish:
"It is difficult to conceive anything more forbidding and more repulsive than this slimy monster, yet the great French ichthyologist, Lacepede, is at considerable pains to show that it bears no resemblance, in any respect, to a human being, and that its great flabby fins are in no way similar or to be compared with the human hand. This was very good and thoughtful of Lacepede, for if any unfortunate should chance to detect a fancied resemblance between the angler and himself, he would probably be a prey to considerable uneasiness of mind."
For another species, he quotes from Pliny (1st Century A.D.; elder or younger not indicated), who wrote in Latin and which CBH appears to have translated into English.
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From late 1893 to early 1894, CBH was in Paris studying with William A. Bouguereau (116) at the Academie Julian, a prominent art school located in the Latin Quarter. (117) In 1894 he was joined in Paris by his wife and young daughter. Apparently, he had time not only to write and illustrate fishes for his "Curious Breadwinners" article, but he also produced etchings (118) and pen-and-ink drawings of Paris scenes. In April, 1894, CBH (1894) published "The Latin Quarter." The article is a historical, physical, and sociological description of that famous section of Paris and includes 12 line drawings and one halftone illustration, all signed and dated "93, Paris" (possibly without CBH's permission, the editor inserted a full-page halftone illustration by another artist in the article). CBH's excellent illustrations depict the activities and dress of the people in the Quarter: walking, conversing, carrying bread, and reading at bookstalls, all including portions of the architecture of the Quarter or scenes of the Seine (Fig. 46). (119)
The text is lively, historically informative, and descriptively detailed as the following three excerpts demonstrate (italics in original).
"If there was ever a youth, a student, to whom the name of the Latin Quarter was not an inspiration of longing, in whose breast it failed to rouse an alluring dream of classic learning and Bohemian liberty, of time-honored schools and glittering cafes, or erudite professors and dazzling grisettes [lively young women], of study, gayety and tumult, he could not have been well constituted." (p. 385)
"As [the Church of St. Julien le Pauvre] stands at present, the edifice dates from the twelfth century, and marks the transition from the Roman to the Gothic order. Of the original structure some portions only remain, having been destroyed in 886 by marauding Normans, and rebuilt in its present form. During the great intellectual movement which commenced about 1000, following the Crusades and the Norman conquests of Italy, Sicily and Greece, it became the centre round which gathered a community of men of letters." (p. 387-388).
"Any Parisian boulevard is interesting, but St. Michel has a quality of interest which is paralleled nowhere in the world, due, of course, to the presence of those ineffable creatures, the students, who throng here in droves and multitudes, loquacious, gay and unrestrained. But night is the time to see the Boul Mich, and not earlier than eleven o'clock. Then the student is free and awake, and the cafes are crowded with a restless, singing, shouting, turbulent mob which would drive insane any landlord save him bred to the Boulevard St. Michel." (p. 394)
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CBH (1895a) returned to the sea, and published "Finny Proteges of Uncle Sam." It contains 13 of his mostly grayscale drawings, probably much reduced from their original size, all dated 1894, except for the undated initial letter T at the beginning of the article (Fig. 47, 48). In the article, CBH had two serious purposes. The first was to impress the reader with the contribution of the USFC to the nation's economy. To do this, he explains at length the value and success of the Commission's project to restock shad in the Potomac River where they had become depleted.
His second purpose was to explain in detail the procedures for artificially propagating fishes and the great amount of effort involved in doing so. Finally, he ends by noting how successful these efforts have been at introducing shad and striped bass, which are native to eastern American waters, into the waters of the western states. (120) It is possible that someone in the Fish Commission may have suggested the topic of this article to CBH, as he had the Commission's cooperation. Tarleton H. Bean (121) (1896:36) wrote, "In the spring of 1894 ... Illustrations and explanations of the methods of the [U. S. Fish] Commission were also furnished to Mr. C. B. Hudson."
A review of the article (Anonymous, 1895:165) concluded, "Mr. Hudson brings the process before our very eyes, and we find his article as interesting from an artistic standpoint as it is a valuable chapter in natural history."
Continuing his interest in fishes, CBH (1895c) published "In the realm of the wonderful." It contains 10 of his ink drawings (all either undated or dated 1895) of fishes. It more or less follows his 1893b "Breadwinners" article in describing the peculiar abilities and behaviors of selected fishes. (122) One of the drawings (Fig. 49), showing seahorses and pipefishes, entwined among sea grasses at the bottom and swirling upward and diminishing in size along an apparent water current, is particularly delightful. CBH's literacy and humor pervades the article, including a drawing (Fig. 49) in which three different bizarre, but identifiable, deep-sea fishes with widely open toothy mouths are converging from different directions on one small hapless prey fish. The legend of this illustration reads, "A Bassalian (123) Tragedy." The tail of a whole ingested prey fish, can be seen through the distended belly of the ceratioid anglerfish at the lower left in the figure. We suspect that William Beebe (1934), of bathysphere fame, borrowed the idea for his plate 9 and its caption ("A deep-sea tragedy drama--in three acts!") from CBH's article.
CBH ends this article with a bit of pedantry: "But I believe, I declare that the reader's credulity has met a strain. And I fear that if he accepts all these statements--which, I assure him, are worth[y]--he will be ready to exclaim with Sebastian, in 'The Tempest,'
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CBH (1895b) continued to draw on his knowledge of fishes in a short article for the children's magazine, St. Nicholas, entitled, "A real air-castle." The article contains only 500 words and mainly describes the breeding behavior of the paradise fish, Macropodus opercularis; (CBH used a junior synonym, Macropodus viridi-aurata, which was believed to be the correct name at the time he wrote). The species builds bubble nests for its young (hence, a real air castle). Accompanying the article is a single CBH illustration (125) (Fig. 50) depicting a habitat slice with two accurately illustrated paradise fish, one of which is adding bubbles to a bubble nest at the water's surface. CBH also mentioned the fighting fish, Betta pugnax, and the tree climbing perch, Anabas testudineus, in the article, which is written with a slightly humorous twist; he closes with a statement similar in context to that of the previously discussed article," ... this is getting to sound like a regular fish story ... [but] Every word is true, though, however much they may sound like yarns."
With the exception of a biographical sketch of his father, and preface, dated 1 Feb. 1904, Detroit, Mich., which are included in his father's, T. J. Hudson (1904) posthumous book, "The Evolution of the Soul," CBH (1904), appears to have ceased publishing his own articles from 1896 until 1907. This was an extremely busy and stressful period which included much travel, illustrating fishes and other subjects for the USFC, general illustrating for books and magazine articles by other authors, military service during the Spanish-American war, separation and a divorce from his first wife, a move from Washington, D.C., to Pacific Grove, Calif., a second marriage, supporting a wife and two children, and taking care of his sick father in Detroit.
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In addition to the biographical sketch and preface (and possibly the included lithograph of his father's profile), CBH was called upon to edit his father's 1904 book. In the preface, CBH attempted to explain and defend his father's explanations of psychic phenomena and philosophy of the "duality of the human mental organization ... He made no effort to protect his theories from assault by surrounding them with a haze of metaphysics, metaphor, or phrases in the subjunctive. He opened his front to attack, and threw down the gage [obsolete; = glove (or gauntlet?)]." CBH was an able wordsmith!
In 1907a, CBH, who is indicated as residing in Detroit, Mich., published "The Chinaman and the Foreign Devils." The use of "Chinaman" rather than "Chinese" was socially acceptable at that time. This article appears to be the first of only two (see Hudson, 1917) seriously political articles published by CBH. In it, CBH succinctly describes the long history of "outrageous" and imperialistic actions imposed by western nations on a historically peaceful China. As a result, the Chinese established a military school in a former library in Peking. CBH remarked prophetically, "The right [of the Chinaman] to recognition of his objection [to the abuses by the western nations] is, of course not to be considered by any power, because he is not yet strong enough to enforce it. There are indications that some day he may be."
On 6 Oct. 1907, CBH (1907b) published "The Crimson Conquest, A Romance of Pizarro and Peru" (126), using the same publisher as that of his father's last book. "The Crimson Conquest" is a love story between a Spanish captain and an Inca princess set amidst Pizarro's bloody conquest of the Incas. Surprisingly, the elaborately colored book cover and only included illustration, the frontispiece, are not by CBH, but by J. C. Leyendecker, a prominent illustrator. The book is well written, but received usually short and mixed reviews. Although CBH was 42 when it was published, one reviewer (127) described him as "a young author ... a scholar," and the book as set forth with "considerable eloquence ..." Another reviewer (128), however, concluded, "Indeed there is not a bit of harm in the book, except that it is very long and strikes us as being very dull." In general, however, reviews were short and complimentary. The most extensive review (129) included a black-and-white reproduction of Leyendecker's frontispiece, a detailed recounting of the story, and a statement that "the story is well written and very readable." (130)
To impart a historical atmosphere, CBH used words such as thee, thou, and hath in quoted conversations. He continued this style even more generously in his other novel, "The Royal Outlaw" (see below), published 10 years after his first novel.
The period between 1907 and 1915 was another busy one in CBH's life, including the birth of a daughter, Claire, and the construction of a home (both 1910). Additionally, during this time, the household included his son Bradford, born in 1906, and Lester, now a teenager, the son of his first marriage.
CBH (1915) published and illustrated (based on dry-point etchings) an article titled "Monterey on the Etching Plate." The piece is deeply sentimental, invoking and lamenting the lost past of the Monterey area and the deterioration of its historic buildings, at the same time bemoaning those of recent construction. The San Jose Mercury Herald (15 Aug. 1915) carried a highly appreciative and complimentary review of Hudson's article by Amanda M. Miller (1915). The review reproduced two of the five CBH illustrations that accompanied the original article. About half of the review describes the subjects of CBH's artistic (or interpretive) paintings, which apparently remained the same the rest of his life. That portion of the review is worthy of repeating here as we can do no better (it emphasizes, as well, his fixation with the sea):
"Mr. Hudson is an artist whose canvases have already received attention and recognition because of their strong, vigorous and artistic handling, as well as their splendid technique. Many--nay, most--of Mr. Hudson's paintings are scenes along the Monterey coast--sea-scapes, in sunshine and shadow, in calm and storm; rugged rock-strewn shores smothered in a swelter of breakers, and long stretches of gleaming sands with slipping, foam-capped tides creeping in undulating line across its shifting surface, while away on the horizon the level sun sends shafts of golden light in a shimmering pathway across the unquiet water; landscapes depicting white sand dunes adrift about a dwarfed and misshapen shrub, or cool, peaceful woods where sentry-like, the giant sequoias uprear their tall heads while sunshine filters in a golden shower between their drooping branches and, through the purple-hazed vista, one glimpses the rugged mountains beyond."
George Oliver Shields (131), staunch conservationist, founder and editor of Recreation magazine, for which CBH had illustrated, submitted a letter he received from CBH (1916) to the New York Times, in which it was published on 18 June 1916 (page E2, column 6). CBH was on a desert sketching trip preparing for a diorama background scene he would paint for the California Academy of Sciences. Although lengthy, we reproduce it in its entirety because it exemplifies CBH's deep feeling for the scenes he painted, his ability to creatively describe what he saw and experienced, as well as to inject a little levity in his seriousness.
Berkeley, Cal., June 7, 1916
Dear Shields: Am just home from the desert--the sure enough desert, near Salton Sea, back some twenty-six miles in the coppery hills; dried up, arid, shimmering hills--and wish I were there again, with no houses, no jitneys, no electric cars, and no yahoos to contemplate. Nothing worse than lizards and rattlesnakes, with appropriate cactus, yucca, sand, and rocks.
The handiwork of God sure does lay over the handiwork of man. In the desert you feel, somehow, that you are looking on the handiwork of God straight from His factory and without any modern improvements.
No wonder the Arab and the old-time Hebrew developed a theology. In Riverside County, Cal., there is an atmosphere of theology, hazy, maybe, like the distance; yet borne in on you by the wind that makes no noise; by the mountains that never budge and remind you forcibly that they do not budge, nor have ever done so, nor ever shall. They wear no trees, no shrubbery or grass or any kind of trimmings to suggest growth, decay, and change; only the scars of erosion, ancient and slow beyond conception. You get an idea of permanence as nowhere else; and yet, also, a whisper that you are only 6 feet high or less [CBH was 5 ft 5 1/2 in tall], weigh something under 200 pounds, have a contemptible power of locomotion on your hind legs, and an allotment of life that might amount to one-twentieth of a second.
There is a chastening influence in the desert, an influence that lifts the sane; and yet you walk a mile, you look around, and wish you had a bottle of beer. You walk another mile and wish you had a barrel of beer. Presently you can look on the barren peaks and sweeping, stupendous slopes and fancy how hostile and diabolical they might seem to a man if there were no beer anywhere, nor even water, nor even ginger pop. Impressive, the desert!
We [I?] came to a canyon, and up some 2,600 feet a spring, flowing crystal-clear, luke-warm water. Cottonwood trees about, and birds and butterflies, and frogs that must be the descendants of frogs that dwelt there a million years ago, before the desert uncrouched (132): for a modern frog that could hop across the intervening hot sand from the nearest puddle would deserve mention in the sporting section, and bring his missus and the kids? He couldn't do it. They are old-timers. Have an evensong, too; musical beyond compare, and different from any other frogs.
Gold there, too. Panned out a color myself. And bees. Old prospector drifted in and gathered honey. Gave us some wild honey. And rattlesnakes! Same old prospector, reclining against his tent roll, heard rustle at his elbow, arose and killed a big rattler. Killed one myself, out on the plain, and wished the next moment I hadn't. Wish so now fervently. He showed no fight, tried to get away, and probably never would have met another man. And he belonged there, and I didn't. He wanted to go about his own business, and I should have gone about mine. Tried to hide his poor old head. Dammit! If he was pizen, he wasn't as pizen as the average man. Wish it had been an average man instead. I don't kill snakes, nor yet average men, if that's a virtue.
But, oh, Shields, avick (133), the color! The delicacy and subtlety of tints and shades in those huge masses of rock and boundless levels! Brilliant, too, in the sunlight, yet always delicate. Paint! Paint is mud. The painter, a futile lump of mud. And when you sit down out in the middle of the waste and try to paint what you see and hear the ticking of your watch in the desert's silence, you want to cry. It pretty nearly makes me cry even to recall it--the beauty, the majesty, the sense of eternity of time and space. For the sky is bigger there than anywhere else, and deeper, and bluer; and the mountains seem everlasting.
You paint with enthusiasm, with elan. You get up to see what you've done and back into a cactus--inevitably. The cactus is there, or if it isn't there, it gets there. Curious circumstances, and always of interest to the painter, however callous and sophisticated (Fig. 51).
CBH (1917) published his second, historical, novel, "The Royal Outlaw." (134) It has a Biblical setting and concerns the strained dynamic between David and King Saul. CBH included many people, places, and battles mentioned in the Old Testament.
We found two reviews, both very positive and both noting CBH's originality in choosing the Bible as a basis for his plot, and adhering very closely to its text. The first review (135) described the book as a
"... stirring tale, worked out with skill and vigor and imagination.... Mr. Hudson has merely taken the Bible down from the shelf where the present generation is prone to leave it untouched and woven out the tale of David ... a story so breathless, so romantic, so full of all the elements that make for fascination in adventure that at once one wonders why no one ever thought of doing it before.... Historically it is accurate in all of its main features ... his picture stays in its frame [and] is recognizable as belonging to its time and place .... Humor enlivens the pages ... It is a good story, well told, and those who like a tale of adventure will hardly find a better among recent novels."
The second review (136) starts by considering it" ... a surprising pleasure ... the most daring novel of this season, or many seasons. Not in the sensual, furtively sexual, or blatantly sexed style to which ... the word 'daring' is applied by every maidenly reviewer to any book that shocks her ... But ... is really daring [because] it is founded on biblical narrative ..." The review ends, "It is wholly lacking in 'piety' and no piety is needed here ... the author has realized as well as any who read that the period was one of rude pastoral kings and nomadic chiefs, when war and plunder were the sport and work of men."
With no intent to detract from these two reviews, we note one remark that appears to indicate an ethnic prejudice, common in CBH's day. On page 7, in describing David's physical appearance, CBH asserts, "The typical Hebrew characteristics of feature were wanting, as racial traits are always wanting in the highest specimens of whatever blood. He [David] looked rather a ruddy Greek than a Jew ..." One wonders how it escaped someone as highly intelligent as CBH, that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to apply this observation, for example, to the "highest specimens" of the natives of China or west Africa.
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CBH's second editorial, a full-page article headlined, "Persistence of Teuton's Traits from Caesar's Time," appeared in the New York Times for 17 Mar. 1918. The United States had been at war with Germany since 6 Apr. 1917, and in what would be an "op-ed" in today's newspapers, CBH penned an attack on the German people that appears to indicate he believed that there is a genetic component in the personality of tribes or nations of peoples. The article surrounds a large reproduction of a painting, done by a German artist, of and by order of, Wilhelm II (1859-1941), last Emperor [Kaiser] of Germany and King of Prussia. Wilhelm is "Shown in the Garb of an Ancient Conqueror, Indicating His Predilection for the War Methods of His Progenitors." The article evidences CBH's knowledge of early European history and is very well written. He begins by describing the inhumanity of the proto-Germanic Suebi peoples from before Caesar's time and progresses to the present. We quote here the complete last paragraph of the article:
"Thus we find, in the primitive Teuton, the attributes which have united a horrified and exasperated world against him in this present struggle. If the descendant has altered in any essential particular from the "Blond Beast (137), who went about in skins, the difference is not distinguishable. And this is the people against whom we are making war. It is pleasant, and possibly commendable, to indulge in the platitude that we war only upon the military autocracy, the Kaiser, his Tirpitzes, his Bissings, his Hindenburgs (138), and other unspeakables, and that we love the German people. We might be privileged to enjoy at least this smug satisfaction had we a shred of evidence that a single atrocity in this war has failed to receive the full endorsement of that people as a whole."
A week later, the New York Times (24 Mar. 1918, p. X5) published a lengthy letter to the editor by J. J. Crawford, supporting and elaborating on CBH's thesis. One of us (VGS) clearly remembers frequently hearing similar expressions concerning the genetic character of Germans during and after World War II. CBH was only partly correct in his indictments of the particular Germans he mentions, but this subject is not relevant to our report. We mention it only for its interest with regard to CBH.
The March 1918 article is the last publication that CBH authored, and his 1915 article, "Monterey on the Etching Plate," is the last article, his own or those of others, for which he specifically prepared the illustrations. Henceforth, CBH would devote his creative efforts to preparing the backgrounds for the dioramas at the California Academy of Sciences and his landscapes and seascapes.
CBH's Fish Specimens
On those trips that CBH made alone in order to illustrate fishes for the USFC and USBF, he was requested to retain and tag specimens he collected and illustrated. The specimens he collected and retained were deposited in the collection of the USFC. For the most part, we do not know what happened to the specimens, although a few were transferred to USNM. The USNM collections have 13 specimens that are indicated as having been collected by CBH. We have been unable to determine with certainty if any of these were used during the preparation of his illustrations, but he did not prepare an illustration of at least one of the specimens, USNM 125386, Antennairus ocellatus, an anglerfish, which indicates that he did not always illustrate every specimen or species he collected. Only general localities are associated with the USNM specimens: two (the anglerfish and Caraxnx hippos, USNM 169929), are indicated as Atlantic, and 11 (one as Salvelinus alpinus, USNM 61732, and ten as Salmo salar sebago, USNM 61750, 61753, 61755, 61758, 61779-61783) have the locality given as "North America."
A Final Small Sample of CBH's Paintings
Before proceeding to a listing and discussion of CBH's ichthyological illustrations, we present a small group of his seascape and landscape paintings (Fig. 52) in addition to the few presented earlier (Fig. 12, 13, 18, 19, 51).
CBH's Ichthyological Illustrations
Aside from his illustrations of fishes for popular magazine articles, it appears that CBH completed a total of 158 scientific illustrations of fishes. Of these, 78 are in black and white or gray-scale and 80 are in color. The original artwork of 151 of the illustrations is present in the USNM illustration files, and four, representing salmonid species, are present at the California Department of Fish and Game, Sacramento (CDFG, henceforth).
All of the original 151 CBH illustrations and one of those missing (P04073) bear USNM illustration file catalog numbers, beginning with the letter P. We have assigned the other two missing originals that are not represented by files, arbitrary catalog numbers, beginning with the letters XX. File P04073, contains only proof copies of the published version of the original.
Three of the CDFG illustrations, including two of the rainbow trout and one of the brook trout, were commissioned by Charles A. Vogelsang (executive officer of the CDFG. from 1901 to 1910). CBH signed and dated these illustrations 1910. The fourth illustration, Chinook salmon, is unsigned and undated. We do not treat the four CDFG illustrations separately below, but each is mentioned in our discussions of similar CBH paintings of the same salmonid species represented in the USNM collection of illustrations.
Most recently, Wales (1957) published color reproductions of the three 1910 dated CDFG illustrations, with credit to CBH. He also included a colored illustration of Oncorhynchus mykiss aguabonita (as O. aguabonita), which was neither dated nor credited to anyone, but is clearly based on a modification of CBH's 1904 painting of that subspecies (our Plate 15 F), to which dark spots were added on the body and some other minor modifications made to the color pattern.
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The originals of the three missing USNM illustrations and their dispositions are unknown; however, they should have been present in the USNM files. We presume this because the three missing originals were published in two articles in two different Bulletins of the United States Bureau of Fisheries, in both of which the originals of all the other included CBH illustrations are in the USNM files.
In Plates 1-26, we present 151 figures copied (scanned) from the original illustrations and three copied from their first published versions. We do not include figures of the four CDFG illustrations, for which we had only poor copies.
Forty-one (26%) of CBH's illustrations of fishes were not published during his lifetime, and some of these were first published over 100 years after their preparation. Ono et al. (1983) first published two of the 41 illustrations 79 years after their preparation. Bond (1985) first published one 73 years after its preparation, and Murdy et al. (1997) first published 14, twelve prepared in 1896 and two prepared in early 1897. We publish 24 others, prepared between 1896 and 1903, for the first time, as much as 113 years after their preparation.
There are probably several reasons why many of the illustrations remained unpublished for so long. Some, based on the presence of frame marks (more below), were probably meant only for inclusion in USFC exhibitions (e.g. the Paris Exposition Universelle (World's Fair), some were initially planned for publications that did not materialize (see remarks concerning E. T. Seton below), and some appear to have been superfluous (e.g. P01788).
At least 18 of the illustrations, all in color, published after CBH's death, have a rectangular stain around their bordering surfaces. The stain appears to indicate that these illustrations had been framed for some period of time and that either the matting was acidic or, if there were no mats, the frames have stained the illustrations. (139) Of the 18 illustrations 13 were done in 1896 at Woods Hole, Mass., and five were done in 1897, at Key West, Fla. They were exhibited at the 1900 Paris World's Fair, from which CBH received a bronze medal for his work. (140) After the fair, the framed illustrations may have graced the offices of the USFC for a while before being unframed and filed. These "previously framed" illustrations are each so indicated in the accounts.
The illustration file also contains one unfinished (and unpublished) CBH color illustration, P09683, Mycteroperca phenax (Jordan and Swain), begun in Key West, Fla., in 1896, which we have not included among our plates. It lacks only the color pattern on the lower third of the body. We have no information on why it was not completed.
One or both sides of many illustrations contain labels and information about the illustration, often written by CBH. On the reverse side of many of the colored illustrations, CBH often pasted a palette of the watercolors he used in preparing the illustrations (e.g. Plate 13).
The original white surface of the watercolor boards on which many of the illustrations were painted has become tan to brownish through time, indicating that either the boards are acidic or that covering sheets of acidic paper affected the surfaces. The discoloration seriously affects the appearance of the paintings. For our publication, the discoloration was digitally eliminated by using the curves tool (control M) in Adobe Photoshop [c] (141), with little, if any, modification of the images. The images on color Plates 25 and 26 were painted in oil against rectangular, variably dark areas of oil paint. In the published versions of these figures, the printer removed most of the dark areas and decreased the intensity of the portion that was retained. Although this produces a more attractive illustration, we elected to reproduce the original illustrations as closely as possible.
We have seen only one other technically complete CBH painting of a fish. It is a framed oil painting of the rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, signed and dated 1913, which we saw in the home of CBH's daughter, Claire Hudson Brett, in June, 1989. (142) It is very similar to P01499 (Plate 15 C), dated 1912, and somewhat less similar to P04054 (Plate 15B), dated 1911. The 1912 illustration was the last technical illustration of a fish that CBH prepared that may have been intended for publication, and the similar 1913 painting was probably completed shortly after it, and to our knowledge it has not been used in a publication. The 1912 illustration was first published in Bond (1985:135), an announcement for the 1985-89 exhibit, "Drawn from the Sea, Art in the Service of Ichthyology," curated by VGS, and on the poster that accompanied the exhibit. Aside from these publications and our Plate 15 C, we know of no other publications of this illustration.
It is a testament to the quality of CBH's illustrations of fishes that many were republished, even in recent times. For an appraisal of CBH's Illustrative contributions, see section "Honors-Awards-Assessments."
A living drollery! (124) [Now] I will believe That there are unicorns; that in Arabia There is but one tree, the phoenix' throne; one phoenix At this hour reigning there."
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