Monday, January 09, 2012


News of Yore: Dan McCarthy's School

The National School of Caricature

(Printer's Ink, 4/23/1902)

A representative of Printers' Ink recently had an interview with Mr. Daniel McCarthy, the director of the National School of Caricature, which has a suite of offices in the Pulitzer Building, Park Row, New York City. Mr. McCarthy told an interesting story about the way in which he had built up a business by means of advertising in the short space of one year.

"I commenced by advertising among the 'Help Wanted" columns in the Herald and other papers," said Mr. McCarthy, "using only five or six lines. I advertised to teach drawing by mail, and I soon began to get quite a number of replies, a fair percentage of which later turned out to be regular pupils. My plan was to send out a prospectus with all particulars of the tuition and and costs to every person who answered the ad. I guarantee instruction by mail, in newspaper caricature work, which is the principal and, I may say, the unique feature of this school. I am not aware that there is such another school in existence.

"I will tell you about my advertising first, then about my methods of instruction. Finding that the business grew, my partner, Mr. Burger [this would be Mort M. Burger -- ed.], and myself decided to extend the advertising still further. We took the same small space in the leading dailies of the country, and even in the British metropolis we use the four principal newspapers. We get on an average from 80 to 100 letters of inquiry daily, and we have over 400 regular pupils whom we teach by mail. The course consists of 35 lessons, and for this instruction we charge $25 if paid in advance, $30 if paid in installments. Our pupils are in the United States. Canada, Great Britain and even France and Germany. We arrange the course of 35 weeks so that the 17 weeks of summer shall be for vacations, as most people go away during some part of the heated term.

"By reason of our original method of instruction, we positively guarantee that any young man or woman with a natural talent for drawing, can, by following all the instructions carefully, conscientiously and accurately,become a competent illustrator and prepare for earning a good income. We write letters of criticism and advice to our pupils, and then, if after conscientious trying, they fail to benefit by our teaching, the amount paid for tuition is cheerfully refunded.

"The course of 35 lessons includes caricaturing, cartooning, sketching from life , the study of original action, decorative designing, lettering, process paper drawing and landscape sketching, newspaper and commercial designing and all branches of illustrating, including wash and crayon drawing. The first lessons are naturally rudimentary—the making of lines, for that is the first step towards learning how to draw correctly. Each lesson, after being done by the pupil, is mailed to us for criticism, and I personally examine it, marking in red ink my comments, adverse or otherwise, so that the pupil may see exactly where he or she is right or where wrong.

"We have only been in business one year, yet there are very many of our pupils who are now drawing for the newspapers and magazines and are on the way to making good incomes. I place a profession in their fingers and they learn it at very little cost. We have men and women of mature years and also boys and girls as pupils.

"Lately we have started a school in our class rooms where pupils may study in person by day or evening and our school is rapidly growing. Here we teach caricaturing from the model—from life itself. We have an average class of twenty-four of both sexes, and while they are at work Mr. Burger and myself walk around and see how the students are progressing, giving advice here, criticising there, and so on. It is our intention to form another class shortly, one that shall be devoted more to mechanical draughtsmanship, water color work, advertisement designing and show card writing and illustrating.

(Printer's Ink, 5/7/1902)

Send for free lesson No. 14 and terms to the
National School of Caricature. We teach by
mail also. Day and night classes from model.
The only school of its kind in the world.

DAN McCARTHY, Director,
Studios, 87 World Building, New York City.

[George Carlson's obituary in the Bridgeport Telegram, September 27, 1962, said, "...He studied in the National School of Caricature, started by Dan McCarthy, political cartoonist for the New York World..."]

Cartoonist Dead
(The Meriden Daily Journal, 2/17/1905)

Daniel M'Carthy Was Well-known Newspaper Artist.
New York, Feb. 17.—Daniel McCarthy, one of the best known caricaturists in this country in his prime, died yesterday at his home, 58 West 116th street. (more)

[Gay Gazoozaland contributor]


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