Wednesday, June 08, 2016


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Nuttall

(This profile is focused on Nuttall’s work in America.)

James Charles Nuttall was born in Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia, on September 6, 1872, according to Design & Art Australia Online. The Australian Dictionary of Biography said he was the first child of James Charles Nuttall, a house-painter and decorator, and Caroline Dean. Around 1895, Nuttall, who was color-blind, enrolled at the National Gallery School in Melbourne. He was a member of the Victorian Artists’ Society and Melbourne Savage Club. Nuttall contributed to the Melbourne Punch and the Bulletin.

The New York Tribune, June 7, 1903, reported on events in London including the exhibit of Nuttall’s 1902 painting.

Charles Nuttall’s painting “The Opening of the First Australian Federal Parliament by the Duke of Cornwall” is exhibited at McLean’s Gallery. It is not an imaginative work like the familiar American pictures of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but is a dress parade of Australian worthies portrayed with humdrum realism. The work is painted in monochrome for convenient reproduction. 
In 1905, Nuttall made his way to New York City where he found work on the New York Herald newspaper. It’s not known how long he worked for the Herald. Nuttall contributed illustrations to the magazines Life, Scribner’s, Harper’s Bazaar and The Century Magazine; some examples below.

Harper’s Bazaar, September 1907
credited as J. Nuttall on contents page, “In Jocund Vein”;
illustrations here and here

Harper’s Bazaar, December 1907
credited as J. Nuttall on contents page, “In Jocund Vein”;

illustration here

The Century Magazine, November 1908

The Century Magazine, March 1909

The Century Magazine, June 1910

The Century Magazine, July 1910

The Century Magazine, October 1910

Nuttall was best known for his book illustrations. Below are some of the books he illustrated.

Bart Stirling’s Road to Success or The Young Express Agent
Four Boy Hunters or The Outing of the Gun Club
Jack Ranger’s Gun Club or From Schoolroom to Camp and Trail
The Motor Boys or Chums Through Thick and Thin
The Motor Boys Overland or A Long Trip for Fun and Fortune
Through the Air to the North Pole or The Wonderful Cruise of the Electric Monarch

The Motor Boys or Chums Through Thick and Thin

The Bobbsey Twins in the Country
The Bobbsey Twins at the Seashore
Dave Porter’s Return to School
Guns and Snowshoes or The Winter Outing of the Young Hunters
Jack North's Treasure Hunt
The Motor Boys Across the Plains or The Hermit of Lost Lake
Treasure Seekers of the Andes or American Boys in Peru
Under the Ocean to the South Pole or The Strange Cruise of the Submarine Wonder

Treasure Seekers of the Andes

The Boat Club Boys of Lakeport or The Water Champions
Dave Porter in the Far North or The Pluck of an American Schoolboy
Dorothy Dale at Glenwood School
Five Thousand Miles Underground or The Mystery of the Center of the Earth
The Motor Boys in Mexico or The Secret of the Buried City
The Motor Boys Afloat or The Stirring Cruise of the Dartaway
Ned Wilding’s Disappearance or The Darewell Chums in the City

Dave Porter in the Far North

Dave Porter and His Classmates or For the Honor of Oak Hall
First at the North Pole or Two Boys in the Arctic Circle
The Motor Boys in Strange Waters or Lost in a Floating Forest
The Musket Boys of Old Boston or The First Blow for Liberty
The Musket Boys Under Washington or The Tories of Old New York
Only a Farm Boy or Dan Hardy’s Rise in Life

First at the North Pole

Dick Hamilton’s Cadet Days or The Handicap of a Millionaire’s Son
The Motor Boys in the Clouds or A Trip for Fame and Fortune
The Putnam Hall Encampment or The Secret of the Old Mill
Ralph on the Overland Express or The Trials and Triumphs of a Young Engineer
The Rival Pitchers: A Story of College Baseball

Motor Boys in the Clouds

A list of books illustrated by Nuttall appeared in the Newsboy, July-August 2004 on pages 14 and 15. 

Detail 7/21/1906

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Nuttall [previously misidentified as George Nuttall] drew Mr. Philander Phat, from May 20 to October 28, 1906, for the Boston Herald.

Johns’s Notable Australians was published in 1906 and included an entry on Nuttall. 
Nuttall, Charles, black-and-white artist: b. Fitzroy, Melbourne, Sept. 6, 1872, s. of James Charles Nuttall, of Harpurhey, Lancashire, Eng., and trained at National Gallery Schs. Melbourne. His paintings include the Opening of First Commonwealth Parliament by H.R.H. the Duke of Cornwall and York, and The First Test Match, 1904. He produced a book of portraits—Representative Australians—and has done much portrait work in black and white. Well-known portraits—Paderewski, the Right Hon. G. H. Reid, and General Booth. Address—The Block, Collins St., Melbourne.

Nuttall’s letterhead said his studio address was 70 Fifth Avenue which was at 13th Street. The 1910 U.S. Federal Census recorded Nuttall in Manhattan, New York City at 29 East 11th Street which was two blocks south of his studio. The freelance illustrator was one of several lodgers including a teacher, cook, waitress, salesman, bookkeeper and stenographer. The census was enumerated in April. Later, that year, Nuttall left New York to return to Australia by way of England and Europe.

Nuttall passed away November 28, 1934, at his home in South Yarra, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

—Alex Jay

Further Reading

Australian Dictionary of Biography
James Charles Nuttall

Design & Art Australia Online
Charles Nuttall

Fred Johns’s Annual
Nuttall, Charles

Pikitia Press
Pip Squips

The Argus
October 17, 1933
Etchings and Drawings


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