Early in his career, Edwin worked as an artist and illustrator. He contributed to several newspapers and magazines, including:
- 1895 – The Monthly Illustrator
- 1896 – Joseph Pulitzer’s newspaper, The World
- 1897, 1914 – Life, the humor magazine (not to be confused with the publications’s later incarnation as a pictorial magazine)
- 1902 – Country Life
- 1902 – The Cosmopolitan
- 1910 – Century Magazine
- 1911 – St. Nicholas magazine
- 1911 to 1913 – The Sun
- 1912 – New York Tribune
- 1912 – Satire, a Pulitzer periodical
- 1922 – The Seattle Intelligencer’s Book of Magic
- 1922 – The Washington Times
(Source: The Tenth Letter of the Alphabet – Creator E.G. Lutz)
Many of Edwin’s published illustrations were animal-themed. He would also sometimes take a human-interest story and and create a drawing of it. For example, a chimpanzee using utensils to eat, or a girl rescued from an organ grinder that had her act like a monkey and wear a monkey skin.
While the photo above has obviously not survived through the years very well, it does provides an interesting look at Edwin’s work area. It is probably not too unexpected to see a rolltop desk, papers and books in a late 19th century artist’s work area. But what is hanging on the walls? From right-to-left and bottom-to-top, here is what can be made out:
- A pocket watch and an illustration of a woman with a bird headdress.
- Models of two animal heads (possibly a mouse and a pig), an illustration of a cat, and a model of a human head.
- On a shelf center left is an illustration of a canine and possibly a model of a cat to its left.
- In the upper left corner is another model of a man’s head, possibly with a goatee.
“Say, Pumpernickel” Illustration
The George Glazer Gallery (New York, NY) described the illustration above as follows:
Humorous original illustration art of two dogs, a dachshund and a terrier, watching dancing couples at a lively party. The dancers are drawn in silhouette. The amused looking terrier says to the other dog, “Say, Pumpernickel, if you and I carried on like that, they’d put muzzles on us.” According to a stamp verso, the artwork appeared in the January 15, 1914 issue of Life magazine. In that era, general interest magazines like Life regularly included such single panel gag cartoons among the articles and features.
The work is inscribed in ink to George Palen Snow (1882-1968), a prominent society lawyer, compliments of Life magazine. His wife, Carmel Snow, whom he married in 1926, was influential in the fashion world as the editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar from 1934 to 1958.
The inscription in the lower left reads: “To G. Palen Snow – Comp’ts of ‘Life'”
The family collection has two of Edwin’s paintings. The first is a watercolor of a farm — perhaps a painting of the Schmierer farm where he grew up.
The second painting is a watercolor of lilacs in a vase.