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Boardman Robinson

Boardman Robinson



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Boardman Robinson, the son of a sea captain, was born in Somerset, Nova Scotia, on 6th September, 1876. He spent his childhood in Wales but moved to the United States when he enrolled at the Massachusetts Art School in Boston. He also studied at the Académie Colarossi and the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

Robinson married Sarah Senter Whitney married at Plessis Trevise, Seine-et Oise, on 28th November 1903. He worked as art editor for Vogue, before returning to the New York City in 1904, where he found work drawing cartoons the New York Morning Telegraph. His work also appeared in Scribner's Magazine, Collier's Weekly and Harper's Weekly.

In 1910 Robinson was recruited by the New York Tribune to draw editorial cartoons. Over the next four years he developed a distinctive style by using black crayon with ink washes. Robinson was a strong supporter of woman suffrage and after Alice Paul and Lucy Burns formed the Congressional Union for Women Suffrage (CUWS) he contributed to the organization's magazine, The Suffragist.

Max Eastman became a close friend during this period: "He was big, burly, bluff, sea-captain sort of character, with dancing blue eyes under bushy red brows, a red beard, and a boisterous way of blowing in as though out of a storm, instead of merely entering, a place of habitation. Everybody called him Mike, and I guess it must have been in memory of Michelangelo, whose fury and rapture his powerful and meaningful drawings did recall."

Robinson was a socialist and was often in conflict with the editor of the New York Tribune. On the outbreak of the First World War he resigned and began to produce cartoons for the left-wing magazine, The Masses. Organized like a co-operative, artists and writers who contributed to the journal shared in its management. Other radical writers and artists who joined the team included Floyd Dell, John Reed, William Walling, Crystal Eastman, Sherwood Anderson, Carl Sandburg, Upton Sinclair, Amy Lowell, Louise Bryant, John Sloan, Art Young, Boardman Robinson, Robert Minor, K. R. Chamberlain, Stuart Davis, Lydia Gibson, George Bellows and Maurice Becker.

Max Eastman, the editor of The Masses, believed that the First World War had been caused by the imperialist competitive system and that the USA should remain neutral. This was reflected in the fact that the articles and cartoons that appeared in journal attacked the behaviour of both sides in the conflict. Boardman Robinson and other members of the team shared this view.

In 1915, Carl Hovey, the editor of Metropolitan Magazine, sent Boardman Robinson and John Reed to Europe where they covered the battle fronts in France, Germany, Russia, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria. In 1916 Robinson contributed illustrations for Reed's book, War In Eastern Europe: Travels Through the Balkans (1916). Robinson later explained that he "was not interested in photographic accuracy, he was trying to give the right impression."

After the USA declared war on the Central Powers in 1917, The Masses came under government pressure to change its policy. When it refused to do this, the journal lost its mailing privileges. In July, 1917, it was claimed by the authorities that cartoons by Boardman Robinson, Art Young and H. J. Glintenkamp and articles by Max Eastman and Floyd Dell had violated the Espionage Act. Under this act it was an offence to publish material that undermined the war effort.

Floyd Dell argued in court: "There are some laws that the individual feels he cannot obey, and he will suffer any punishment, even that of death, rather than recognize them as having authority over him. This fundamental stubbornness of the free soul, against which all the powers of the state are helpless, constitutes a conscious objection, whatever its sources may be in political or social opinion." The legal action that followed forced The Masses to cease publication. In April, 1918, after three days of deliberation, the jury failed to agree on the guilt of the defendants.

The second trial was held in January 1919. John Reed, who had recently returned from Russia, was also arrested and charged with the original defendants. Floyd Dell wrote in his autobiography, Homecoming (1933): "While we waited, I began to ponder for myself the question which the jury had retired to decide. Were we innocent or guilty? We certainly hadn't conspired to do anything. But what had we tried to do? Defiantly tell the truth. For what purpose? To keep some truth alive in a world full of lies. And what was the good of that? I don't know. But I was glad I had taken part in that act of defiant truth-telling." This time eight of the twelve jurors voted for acquittal. As the First World War was now over, it was decided not to take them to court for a third time.

In 1918 Eastman joined with Art Young, Floyd Dell and his sister, Crystal Eastman, to establish another radical journal, The Liberator. Other writers and artists involved in the magazine included Boardman Robinson, Claude McKay, Robert Minor, Stuart Davis, Lydia Gibson, Maurice Becker, Helen Keller, Cornelia Barns, and William Gropper.

Robinson was employed as a teacher at Arts Students League in New York City (1919-30). It had no entrance requirements and no set course. With teachers such as John Sloan, Art Young, George Luks, George Grosz and George Bellows, it developed a reputation for progressive teaching methods and radical politics.

In 1936 he became head the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Some of his students included Edmund Duffy, Jacob Burck, Bill Tytla and Russel Wright. He also produced several murals including those at the Rockefeller Center and the Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C.

Boardman Robinson died on 5th September, 1952.

A regular contributor to The Masses was Boardman Robinson, then and perhaps permanently regarded as one of America's greatest artists. "His masterly drawings had the breathlike delicacy as well as the power of the old Masters," in the judgment of a fellow artist, Reginald Marsh. Surprisingly as it may seem, he actually introduced into America the idea, as old as Daumier, that cartoons should have the values of art as well as of meaning.

He was big, burly, bluff, sea-captain sort of character, with dancing blue eyes under bushy red brows, a red beard, and a boisterous way of "blowing in" as though out of a storm, instead of merely entering, a place of habitation. Everybody called him Mike, and I guess it must have been in memory of Michelangelo, whose fury and rapture his powerful and meaningful drawings did recall.

When Mike blew in with a picture of a white-clad, saintly Jesus standing against a stone wall facing the rifles of a brutish firing squad - "The Deserter"- I felt that number (The Masses, July, 1916) deserved a place in the history of art.

This time, Reed traveled with the artist Boardman Robinson who was assigned to illustrate Reed's stories. Reed and Robinson became close friends. Robinson, at thirty-nine, was a well-known political cartoonist, whose work appeared regularly in the New York Tribune. (He later became a celebrated muralist.) The son of a Nova Scotian sea captain, he had worked his way through art school in Boston and later studied in Paris. Max Eastman once described him as "a big, burly, bluff sort of a character, with dancing blue eyes under bushy red brows, a red beard, and a boisterous way of blowing in as though out of a storm." Everyone called him Mike, "in memory," according to Eastman, "of Michelangelo, whose fury and rapture his powerful and meaningful drawings did recall"

The Post Office was represented by Assistant District Attorney Barnes. He explained that the Department construed the Espionage Act as giving it power to exclude from the mails anything which might interfere with the successful conduct of the war.

Four cartoons and four pieces of text in the August issue were specified as violations of the law. The cartoons were Boardman Robinson's Making the World Safe for Democracy, H. Glintenkamp's Liberty Bell and the conscription cartoons, and one by Art Young on Congress and Big Business. The conscription cartoon was considered by the Department "the worst thing in the magazine". The text objected to was A Question, an editorial by Max Eastman; A Tribute, a poem by Josephine Bell; a paragraph in an article on Conscientious Objectors; and an editorial, Friends of American Freedom.

American Artists and the First World War (Answer Commentary)

Käthe Kollwitz: German Artist in the First World War (Answer Commentary)

Walter Tull: Britain's First Black Officer (Answer Commentary)

Football and the First World War (Answer Commentary)

Football on the Western Front (Answer Commentary)


Christianity and violence

Christians have held diverse views towards violence and non-violence through time. Currently and historically there have been four views and practices within Christianity toward violence and war: non-resistance, Christian pacifism, just war, and preventive war (Holy war, e.g., the Crusades). [1] The early church in the Roman empire adopted a nonviolent stance when it came to war since imitating Jesus's sacrificial life was preferable. [2] The concept of "just war", whereby limited uses of war were considered acceptable originated with earlier non-Christian Roman and Greek thinkers such as Cicero and Plato. [3] [4] This theory was adapted later by Christian thinkers such as St Augustine, who like other Christians, borrowed much of the justification from Roman writers like Cicero and Roman Law. [5] [6] [7] Even though "Just War" concept was widely accepted early on, warfare was not regarded as a virtuous activity and expressing concern for the salvation of those who killed enemies in battle, regardless of the cause for which they fought, was common. [8] Concepts such as "Holy war", whereby fighting itself might be considered a penitential and spiritually meritorious act, did not emerge before the 11th century. [8] [9]


Stars of Political Cartooning - Boardman Robinson

Each day this month I will be profiling a notable political cartoonist. Since the choices are vast, I've decided to slim the numbers down a bit and eliminate living cartoonists. Perhaps I will do a current political cartoon stars in the future.

Here's an archive of the artists mentioned already.

Today we look at a powerful cartoonist/journalist who, like his contemporary, Robert Minor, stood up for his beliefs even when the US Government branded him a traitor.

The similarities between Robert Minor and Boardman Robinson (who was born in 1876 in Nova Scotia, Canada) are striking, so first let me link you back to the entry on Robert Minor.

Like Minor, Robinson was a staunch Socialist and heavily involved in liberal causes of the day, including women's suffrage.

Robinson even had a similar stark, sparse style like Minor's - the sketchy nature of their cartoons usually had something to do with the immediacy in which they were creating.

Like Minor, Robinson said what was on his mind - whether it fit into a specific mold or not.

However, Robinson was also a very notable artist on his own terms - he just happened to coincide with Minor at more than a few points in history.

Speaking of not fitting within a prescribed mold, check out this great piece where Robinson mocks a group he specifically SUPPORTS, for what he felt to be their negative views on racial equality even while trying to gain gender equality.

(By the by, did you know that our image files are case-sensitive? How odd is that? boardman1.jpg resulted in no image, but Boardman1.jpg worked - so silly).

Robinson was friends and worked alongside John Reed, the famed Communist who Warren Beatty portrayed in Reds.

The two went to Russia in 1914, and Russia always held a place in Robinson's heart, noted by his cartoons later on.

Robinson originally drew for the New York Times and the New York Tribune, and they allowed him to do anti-war cartoons before the United States was involved, but when they DID become involved, Robinson had to turn to the radical newspaper, The Masses, along with Minor, to continue his work.

Here's a beautifully frightening piece he wrote about America's involvement.

Crap - I misplaced the caption. Could someone find it for me?

I'll paraphrase it, for now - "Come on in, America, the War is just fine!"

Along with Minor and a few others, Robinson was arrested for treason for his anti-war cartoons, and was put on trial twice (both hung juries) before the war ended and there really was no more reason to hold them any longer.

Robinson contributed to the sequel to the Masses, The Liberator.

He then proceeded to teach for many years and also did a number of murals.

The creator of the Masses, Max Eastman, who also faced prison along with Robinson, Minor and others (including one artist we'll meet in a couple of days), had this to say about Robinson and also what is probably Robinson's most famous cartoon.

Surprisingly as it may seem, he actually introduced into America the idea, as old as Daumier, that cartoons should have the values of art as well as of meaning.

He was big, burly, bluff, sea-captain sort of character, with dancing blue eyes under bushy red brows, a red beard, and a boisterous way of "blowing in" as though out of a storm, instead of merely entering, a place of habitation. Everybody called him Mike, and I guess it must have been in memory of Michelangelo, whose fury and rapture his powerful and meaningful drawings did recall.

When Mike blew in with a picture of a white-clad, saintly Jesus standing against a stone wall facing the rifles of a brutish firing squad - "The Deserter"- I felt that number (The Masses, July, 1916) deserved a place in the history of art.

Can't really argue with Eastman there.

Thanks to Spartacus for the Eastman quote and thanks to this Marxist site for most of the cartoons featured above.


Boardman Robinson - History

The second floor 75th Anniversary exhibition at the FAC will feature The History of Commerce, a 10-panel mural by the internationally renowned Boardman Robinson. The mural was commissioned in 1929 by businessman Edgar J. Kaufmann, perhaps best known for his Pennsylvania home, Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpiece built in 1936.

Soon after completing the mural, Robinson moved to Colorado Springs and served as the director of the prestigious Broadmoor Art Academy, and its successor, the Fine Arts Center School, from 1930-1947.

The panels – each measuring 8’ x 15’ – were originally displayed at the Kaufmann’s department store in downtown Pittsburgh this will be the first time all 10 panels have been displayed together in decades.

For the anniversary, the FAC has commissioned Robinson student Eric Bransby to paint a mural celebrating the arts. The finished work, measuring 5’ x 27’ will be installed this summer.


Boardman Robinson

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Boardman Robinson - History

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J. B. ROBINSON CO., INC.

J. B. ROBINSON CO., INC., one of the largest retail jewelers in the country, was founded in 1946 by Joseph B. Robinson as a wholesale diamond operation located on the 8th floor of the Schofield Bldg. on E. 9th St. After Robinson's death in 1959, his son, Lawrence, changed the company to a retail jewelry firm, specializing in diamonds and watches with $200,000 in annual business. In the mid-1960s, the company started a radio campaign, with Robinson, who became known as the "Diamond Man," as spokesman. By 1975 the firm had 18 stores, 9 in Cleveland, with 240 employees and an annual business of $11 million. Four years later, the $35 million business was acquired by W.R. Grace Co. of New York, a diversified international corporation. The merger allowed Robinson to carry a wider range of merchandise and expand further. Grace transferred its retail operations, including Robinson, into a joint venture with Vroom & Dreesman B.V., the largest retailing organization in the Netherlands in 1981. At that time J. B. Robinson had 70 outlets and 650 employees with headquarters in the STATLER OFFICE TOWER on Euclid Ave.

In 1987, Grace sold the chain to Kay Jewelers, Inc., of Alexandria, VA. Robinson, after failing in a bid to repurchase the chain, left the company, which continued to use the J. B. Robinson name for its stores in Cleveland and the Midwest.

In 1990, Robinson re-entered the jewelry business, opening the Antwerp Diamond Centre in the TOWER CITY CENTER complex, followed soon after by Antwerp stores in Parmatown and RANDALL PARK malls, a fourth Antwerp store in Washington, DC and the 10-store Royal Jewelry chain, also in Washington. But the recession of 1991 cut deeply into the retail jewelry market, and Robinson was forced to declare both chains bankrupt and close all stores in January 1992.


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Company History

Robinson Home Products Inc. was founded as Robinson Knife in 1921 by George Robinson and W. R. Case. Robinson, an English cutlery maker and Case, a manufacturer of a variety of knives, scissors and straight razors formed the foundation of a business that has become a leader in the wholesale distribution of housewares.

In 1927, Robinson consolidated three factories in Pennsylvania and Southwestern New York, into one larger facility in Springville, New York, outside of Buffalo. A short time later, Case sent David Skerker to work for Robinson and eventually sold his stake in the company to Robinson and Skerker.

During the late 1940s, Robinson expanded its product offering to include new products such as kitchen tools. Two decades later, in 1965, General Electric Co. approached Robinson to manufacture blades for its soon to be introduced electric knife. Later Robinson would make blades for virtually every electric appliance company in the US and Europe.

In 1980, the Company expanded its facilities again by adding additional 40,000 square feet of warehousing space. During the same year, Robinson began manufacturing food processor blades for appliance companies and opened its plastic injection molding department.

Manufacturing continued to be the main focus of the business until the mid-1980s, when Robinson acquired California based Chef Major Limited. This gave the Company importing capabilities and changed the landscape at Robinson greatly, moving it away from manufacturing completely.

The first product focus of the company, once importing was in full swing, was private label home brands. However, this changed during the early 1990s when Robinson began licensing well recognized brand names such as Pyrex and Oneida.

In 1993, the manufacturing arm of Robinson Knife was sold and the primary business objective became the licensing and distribution of brand name products. A facility was acquired in Buffalo, New York to handle distribution of these brands. A year later, the Company's offices were moved from Springville to Buffalo and a new foundation was established for the Company.

As Robinson grew over the next decade it became apparent that even more changes were needed to encourage more growth opportunities. In 2005, Robinson Knife officially changed its name to Robinson Home Products Inc. This new moniker better reflected the diverse product mix of the Company and clarified its position in the marketplace.

In 2006, with a surge in product offerings and sales, the Company acquired a secondary warehousing facility in Buffalo to help meet increasing demand. During the same year, the third generation owners of Robinson, the Skerker Family, sold the company to their employees by forming an ESOP. On June 23, 2006 Robinson Home Products Inc. became an employee owned company which ended over 80 years of service that the Skerker family had provided to Robinson.

In 2009, the next chapter of Robinson's growth was established when the company entered into a long-term licensing agreement for the Oneida tabletop business. As part of this agreement, Robinson also acquired office and showroom space in New York City. This deal further expanded Robinson’s product and brand portfolio, and solidified its position as a leader in housewares and tabletop design, development, and marketing for both its licensed and owned brands.


Company History

Our customers have seen quite a march of progress since Fred Robinson left a position with The Dow Chemical Company, where he was one of the people working on the development of a product called Styrofoam*.

Fred opened a business with his wife Ardis to explore the new world of plastics in the 1940s. Their first product was snow for Christmas trees which was actually Styrofoam — ground and beautifully packaged.

Recognizing the potential for large components of thermoformed plastics, Fred worked with equipment makers to develop machinery to serve the market. Much of the technology and machinery that’s still used in the industry today — such as the rotary thermoforming machine — was developed with Fred Robinson’s guidance. Robinson Industries began thermoforming refrigerator interior door panels in the 1950s — and along the way started producing canoes, coolers and ice buckets.

At the request of automotive manufacturers, we began making thermoformed and injection-molded reusable plastic pallets for the auto industry in the 1960s. Evolving customer demands began making wooden pallets obsolete, helping plastic pallets gain in popularity.

Contact us to find out how our history can help build your future.


Watch the video: Boardman Robinson (August 2022).