Thursday, July 07, 2011

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles: Alfred Brewerton



Alfred West Brewerton, Jr. was born in Marion, Kansas on September 11, 1881, according to Who's Who in the South (1927). In the 1885 Kansas State Census, he was the second of three children born to Alfred and Ella. The family lived in Hillsboro, Kansas. Who's Who in the South said he was educated at Chicago, Illinois public schools and Lake View High School, the Chicago Art Institute, and the Art Student's League in New York.

The date the Brewertons moved to Chicago is not known. His mother, a widow and Illinois native, and two sisters were recorded in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census; they lived in Chicago at 2745 Oakley Avenue. Brewerton has not been found in the 1900 census; he might have been in New York City, where Who's Who in the South said he was a cartoonist for Life, Judge, and the New York World. AskArt.com said he did comic strips for the World in 1903, and lived in Los Angeles, California in 1905. Four years later he "worked as a photographer as part of the 1909 Good Roads Tour, sponsored by the Atlanta Journal and New York Herald."

The 1910 census recorded him, as a boarder, in Atlanta, Georgia at 45 West Peachtree Place. His occupation was cartoonist at a newspaper. The Press of American Publishing Company published, in 1910, his book, Drawing for Newspapers, Cartooning, Comics, News Illustrating, etc. The book, Club Men of Atlanta in Caricature, by Brewerton and Associated Cartoonists, was published by Roycrofters in 1916. AskArt.com says he was a cartoonist at the Atlanta Journal from 1910 to 1920. He signed his World War I draft card on September 12, 1918. He lived at 4578 Peachtree Place, and his occupation was cartoonist at the Atlanta Journal. He named his mother as his nearest relative, who was in Atlanta, too. His description was tall height, slender build, brown eyes and hair.

Atlanta History: A Journal of Georgia and the South, Volumes 37-38, 1993, said Brewerton "was an Atlanta Journal cartoonist for eighteen years, during which time he drew a cartoon almost daily and headed the newspaper's art department….Brewerton became known for his weekly sketches of vaudeville and opera performers and for his eight-column Sunday 'Billboard of Weekly Events.' "

Brewerton was the head of the household, which included his mother and younger sister, in 1920. They lived in Atlanta at 322 East North Avenue. He was a cartoonist at a newspaper. Around 1922 his weekly golf panel, The Dubbville Foursome appeared. On December 2, 1924, the Augusta Chronicle (Georgia) reported on an article in the Atlanta Journal which appeared the day before; a few excerpts:


The many Augusta friends of James Montgomery Flagg and Elbert Jackson (formerly of Augusta now of New York) will be interested in the article that follows that appeared on the front page of the Atlanta Journal. The Journal also carried a delightful cartoon of Flagg drawn by Brewerton and one of Brewerton drawn by Flagg and a picture of Elbert Jackson.

The article by Brewerton says:

James Montgomery Flagg, American artist, illustrator, painter, comic artist, motorist and prince of good fellows is in Atlanta for his first visit, and he says he likes the place…

…I saw him at the Hotel Biltmore shortly after he had arrived after driving over from Greenville, S.C., on a little motor trip he and Elbert M. Jackson, also a well-known artist, are taking out from New York in Mr. Flagg's car, to relieve the monotony of painting, illustrating, etc….

…Mr. Flagg has been drawing and painting for many years. I asked him how many pictures he thought he had turned out in all, and, while he had no definite idea, he said he now averages about three hundred a year and he had his first picture published at age 12, and I should judge he is now somewhere in his forties…He thinks that illustrating is really the American art; that it is the field in which we excel; in which no other country can begin to compare with us….


Brewerton's comic strip, Pam, began in 1928. In 1930 he remained head of the household which included his mother and older sister. His occupation and address were the same. Pam ended in 1943. According to the Georgia Deaths records at Ancestry.com, Brewerton passed away in Fulton County, Georgia on May 21, 1960.

A collection of his papers is housed at the University of Georgia Hargrett Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

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