Friday, December 16, 2011
Ink-Slinger Profile: Eddie Eksergian
Vahan Altiparmak profiled Edward's uncle, Carnig (also spelled Karnig) Eksergian here. Altiparmak's profile has some information about Edward's father, Telemaque, who was a portrait painter. Altiparmak said Carnig learned portrait painting from his older brother. In 1870 when he was 12, Carnig sailed to America, and landed in Boston, Massachusetts where he continued painting. However, a New York Herald article, dated July 8, 1915, said he arrived in the U.S. when he was fourteen. Telemaque and his oldest son, Edward, arrived in Boston four years later, according to Altiparmak. I believe that time frame is incorrect.
Telemaque and Carnig have not been found in the 1880 census. Altiparmak said, "…they worked together for many years painting famous and rich people, portraits that made them famous…." According to a passenger list at Ancestry.com, Telemaque and Edward (listed as Master Eksergian) sailed from Liverpool, England to Boston and landed on July 23, 1883. Edward's age was listed as 11, which made his birth year 1872. The Eksergian brothers advertised their "Studio Days" in the Boston Herald and Boston Daily Advertiser in May 1884.
The Trow's New York City Directory 1891 included Telemaque's son: "Eksergian Edw'd, photographs, 67 Park pl. h 3 E. 14th". Around the age of 18, Edward began his career as a photographer. On August 6, 1891, The New York Herald published this death notice:
Eksergian.—August 5, after a long sickness, Telemaque Eksergian, beloved father of Edward Eksergian. Funeral will take place two P.M. Friday. [August 7]
After the death of their father, the whereabouts and doings of Edward and Joseph were not known until the 1900 census. They were boarding in Brooklyn, New York at a house on Cropsey Avenue near Bay 11th Street, about three miles northwest of Coney Island. They were artists. In 1901, Edward produced comics for the McClure Syndicate, such as A Bunch of Umbrella Jokes. The date of his move to St. Louis, Missouri is not known. In 1902 he was working for World Color Printing and continued there to 1904. One of his strips was Mrs. Knitt.
He was active in the St. Louis Newspaper Artists' Society as reported in The Republic (St. Louis, Missouri) on March 29, 1902.
Messrs. Carlisle Martin, H.B. Martin, George Walters, Benjamin Devine, Edward Marrs, Paul Gregg, Ed Eksergian, A. Block, George McManus Jr., Berthold Widmann, Edward Grinham, C.L. Cadwallander, Henry F. Thode, Dick Wood and T.K Hedrick.
The Republic covered another show on October 5, 1902. (A follow-up article, dated October 19, included portraits of four cartoonists.)
H.B. Martin, Dick Wood, George McManus, Ed Eksergian, S. Carlisle Martin, Berthold Widmann, Paul Fred Berdanier, Edward Grinham, J. Gay Martin, Miss Lina Barclay, Henry Thode, George Walters, Louis E. Donahoe, A. Briscoe, A. Block, George Stick, Miss Anita Moore, F.F. Porter, Max Orthwein, treasurer.
Lambiek Comiclopedia said he did the following comics: Holiday Shopping in Kit-Kat Town(1904), Mr. Tom (1904-1905), Mr. O-Heeza-Knocker (1904), Dreamy Mary (1904), Raphels the Awful Cat (1905) and Vacation News (1905). On some strips, he signed his name as "Ed Eks". In late 1904 he left World Color for employment at St. Louis newspapers. His 1904 St. Louis Dispatch hockey cartoon was reprinted in the book Before the Stars (2004).
In the 1910 census, he was in St. Louis where he resided at the Buckingham Hotel, on North Kings Highway and West Pine Boulevard. He was a newspaper cartoonist. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, on March 4, 1913, that his Uncle Carnig "...has come to live in Manhattan after several years sojourn in Boston..." In the book A History of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat (1961), Jim Allee Hart said, "…Edward Exsergian [sic] (Eddie Eks) drew cartoons for the sport pages…." In 1915 his marriage was referred to in the New York Times on July 20:
Miss Finney was maid of honor at the wedding of Miss Clara Langan to Edward Eksergian, an artist, June 30...
A World War I draft card has not been found for him. The Editor & Publisher mentioned him on January 13, 1917, "…Among the staff artists and cartoonists at the inauguration of Governor Gardner, Monday were A.B. Chapin, Republic; Edward Eksergian, Globe-Democrat; Carlye S. Martin, Post-Dispatch; Otto Hartsman, Times."; and on March 24, 1917, "Eddie Eks, cartoonist of the Globe-Democrat, entertained the members of the St. Louis Millers' Club at their banquet Tuesday evening with drawings and chalk talks."
The Catalogue of Copyright Entries, Part 4: Works of Art, Etc. 1918 New Series, Volume 13, Number 3 had this entry, "Eksergian (Edward) St. Louis. [9819 On and off the trolley. © June 20, 1918; 2 c. June 27, 1918; K 121461." He contributed art to the June 15, 1918 issue of War Saver. Building Age, February 1919, published his cartoon "Reach Out for Big Business!"
The 1930 census recorded him in St. Louis at 6678 Washington Avenue. His surname was spelled "Eksergen" (this spelling was used in his obituary). In the occupation column it read, "Advertising and Artist Studio", and in the industry column was "Magazine". Samples of his work in this decade have not been found.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
I searched for living relatives and finally, after much work, located his nephew, Walker Langen, in 1979. He had retired to Florida. He wrote back to an inquiry, saying, yes he knew his uncle well, having grown up with him (he was fighting in the Aleutians at the time of Eksergian's demise) and just exactly what did I want to know?
Well, I sent him a bunch of questions, including a request for a phone conversation. Then I waited and waited, and waited. So I sent another letter, and more waiting. Finally his wife sent me a terse letter saying that just after his response, he became incapacitated and would never recover. That was that.