Monday, January 9, 2017

Letterer: John Thomson Willing


John Thomson Willing was born August 5, 1860 in Toronto, Canada, according to a family tree at The same birth date was published in Herringshaw’s American Blue Book of Biography: Prominent Americans of 1914, although Willing’s middle name was spelled Thompson. Artnet and the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts have Willing’s middle name as Thompson. According to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Willing was born in August 1861 and immigrated in 1883.

Rose-Belford’s Canadian Monthly and National Review
May 1880
A Gossip About the First Dominion Art Exhibition
…The same form—the cone—reappears in a design for a book-cover, by J. T. Willing, No. 283, only on a smaller scale—that of a larch. This and two others by the same hand, in which the Trillium, the beaver, and other purely Canadian subjects appear, are all admirably treated. These also have carried off a prize.

Royal Canadian Academy of Arts
1883 Annual Exhibition of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, and Ontario Society of Artists Catalogue
T. Hill & Sons Press, 1883
page 20: Screen. West Side.
Etchings & Drawings in Black & White
318 Wood Engraver at Work….J.T. Willing

page 21: Corridor. East End.
Architecture and Design.
328 Four Designs for Christmas Cards…..J.T. Willing…..35 [price]

The Dominion Annual Register and Review
Henry James Morgan
Dawson Brothers, 1884
John T. Willing and John Ellis, designers, of Toronto

The Critic and Good Literature
July 5, 1884
A letter to Mr. J. T. Willing, from the author of ‘My Creed,’ is lying at this office. It will be forwarded on receipt of his address. A correspondent sends us a copy of the Boston Journal of year or two ago, containing two sonnets, the first of which is closely modeled on the poem named above.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
(New York)
July 12, 1885
The Brooklyn Magazine has not gone away for the Summer. On the contrary, the July number is happy in “Roses Culled from Brooklyn Gardens,” wherein several poetic Brooklynites “drop into poetry” with the affability go Silas Wegg. in these poems J. Thomson Willing, from his Brooklyn boarding house, “climbs up an open mountain side.”

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
(New York)
September 5, 1886
“Longing” by J. Thomson Willing

New York, New York, Marriage Index
John T Willing and Charlotte Vanderveer
November 18, 1886, Brooklyn, New York

Canadian Leaves, History, Art, Science, Literature, Commerce
A Series of New Papers Read Before the Canadian Club of New York
Edited by George M Fairchild Jr.
Illustrated by Thomson Willing
Napoleon Thomson & Company, 1887

The New York Times
January 8, 1887
The Snowshoers Leave.
…The Hotel Brunswick was the scene of a unique dinner party in the evening tendered by Mr. Erastus Wiman in honor of Mr. J. W. Burgough, the witty caricaturist of the Toronto Grip, who accompanied the snowshoe clubs as one of the most enthusiastic followers of the sport. The tastefully decorated table was surrounded by most of the leading caricaturists and humorists of the city, in which gatherings of the representative artists and humorists have been all too rare. Speech followed speech with graceful tributes from the artistic Bohemia of New-York to the genial guest from Canada and all the guests will record the occasion in their new diaries with a red letter. The names of the guests are familiar to everybody. Mr. Joseph Keppler, of Puck, beamed at Mr. Thomas Nast, of Harper’s Weekly. Mr. J. A. Mitchell, of Life, peered through his gold glasses at Mr. Harry McVickar, of the same paper. Mr. Bernard Gillam, of Judge, sat by Baron C. de Grimm, and interspersed with the merry company were Mr. Grant Hamilton, Mr. H. R. Hart, and Mr. Eugene Zimmerman, of Judge, and J. Thompson Willing, of the Canadian Royal Academy.

Syracuse Daily Standard
(New York)
January 8, 1887
Cartoonists at a Picnic.
New York, Jan. 7.—A unique dinner party was given at New York last evening at the Hotel Brunswick in which most of the leading caricaturists and humorists of the city participated. The dinner was given by Erastus Winan [sic] in honor of J. W. Bengough [sic], editor of the Toronto Grip. The following were among the distinguished guests: Joseph Keppler of Puck; Thomas Nast of Harper’s Weekly; Bernard Gillam of Judge; C. DeGrimm of the Evening Telegram; Eugene Zimmerman of Judge; Mr. McVicker [sic] of Life; Grant Hamilton of Judge; J. A. Mitchell of Life; H. R. Hart of Judge, and J. Thompson Willing of the Canadian Royal Academy.

The Clothier and Furnisher
May 1887
Alfred Benjamin & Co. advertisement signed T.W. 
These advertisements might be by Willing.

The Critic
June 2, 1888
Mr. Edward Greey has published in the form of a handsome pamphlet ‘A History of Japanese Bronze,’ written by himself and fully illustrated with reproductions of some of the superb specimens in his gallery. The author gives an account of the prehistoric, the ancient and the modern bronzes. The drawings by Thomson Willing are well composed.

Cleveland Plain Dealer
June 4, 1888
Mr. Edward Greey has published in the form of a handsome pamphlet “A History of Japanese Bronze,” written by himself and fully illustrated with productions of some of the superb specimens in his gallery. The author gives an account of the prehistoric, the ancient and the modern bronzes. The drawings are by Thomson Willing.

1888–1889 Brooklyn, New York Directory
Name: John T. Willing
Location 1: 7 Warren N. Y.
Location 2: 240 Carroll
Occupation: Artist

The Clothier and Furnisher
November 1889
Alfred Benjamin & Co. advertisement signed T. Willing

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
(New York)
February 7, 1892
The Brooklyn Art School.
William B. Chase Elected instructor in the Life Classes.
The following artists are patrons of the Brooklyn art school: …Thomson Willing…

Some Old Time Beauties
(After Portraits by the English Masters, with Embellishment and Comment)
Thomson Willing
Joseph Knight Company, 1894

1894 Brooklyn, New York Directory
Name: John T. Willing
Home address: 247 Carroll
Business address: 757 Broadway N.Y.
Occupation: Artist

The Evening Post
(New York, New York)
December 24, 1894
The Joseph Knight Co. (Boston) publish as a holiday volume ‘Some Old- Beauties,’ ten portraits of famous beauties by Reynolds, Gainsborough, Romney, Lawrence, and others, with embellishment and comment by Thomson Willing. The comment is mildly gossiping and entertaining, the embellishment is clever if florid, and the portraits, being re-produced from engravings, not from the originals, are of little value as examples of the art of the painters represented, though answering their purpose of satisfying curiosity as to the personal appearance of the sitters. The book is prettily got up
and likely to be popular as a gift-book.

The New York Times
January 10, 1895
To Protect the Authors
It was announced yesterday at the regular meeting of the American Authors’ Guild, which looks after the business interests of literary folk, while the Authors’ Club is their social organization, that Postmaster Bissell has practically promised that the postal rates on authors’ manuscripts will be reduced as soon as the change can be made. Manuscripts will then be subject to the same rates as newspapers.

…The meeting was held in the Bible House…The following were elected to membership: …J. Thompson Willing...

The Publishers’ Weekly
December 21, 1895
Willing, Thomson.

Dames of High Degree
Being Portraits After English Masters With Decorations and Biographical Notes
Thomson Willing
Joseph Knight Company, 1896

Trow’s (formerly Wilson's) Business Directory of the Boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx, City of New York, 1897
Designers & Draughtsmen
Willing Thomson, 70, 5th av

The New York Times
February 5, 1898
At the Salmagundi Club
The semi-monthly dinners at the Salmagundi Club are becoming more and more frequently the delightful beginning of an evening set apart for the development of a special art idea. On Tuesday, Jan. 23, 125 members and guests dined in the large exhibition gallery of the club and proceeded thereafter with the painting of tiles for an elaborate fireplace designed by Mr. William C. Ostrander. The design provides for seven important pictures on groups of four-inch tiles…

…The work of the evening was on individual tiles, without restriction of design, which are to form the four-inch borders. All the work is in a warm brown tone, as the completed fireplace is to be set up in the red cafe….

…The mottoes, it should be mentioned, which are a part of the design, will be the work of Mr. Thomson Willing, and the tiles are to be fired by Mr. Charles Volkmar, one of the oldest members of the club….

Northern Christian Advocate
(Syracuse, New York)
September 7, 1898
The Macmillan Company will publish in the early autumn The Great Salt Lake Trail; by Colonel Henry Inman and the Hon. William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill). This will be a companion volume to the Old Santa Fe Trail, and will be illustrated with eight full-page drawings by F. Coman Clarke, and initials and tail pieces by Thomson Willing….

Dinner to the Right Hon. Lord Herschell
November 5, 1898
[Museum of the City of New York; click red cover to see illustration and lettering]

New York Herald
November 5, 1898
Joseph Jefferson, who is a painter and illustrator as well as an actor, is making some drawings for the forthcoming second edition de luxe of “The Rivals,” to be published by J. Parker White. The other illustrations, instead of being all imaginary, as were those in the first edition, will consist largely of reproductions from photographs of Mr. Jefferson as Bob Acres in various scenes. Clinedienst and Thomson Willing will also contribute illustrations. Besides making drawings Mr. Jefferson will write an introduction and critically revise the text.

The Philadelphia Inquirer
November 24, 1898
Mr. Keely’s Funeral
The funeral of John W. Keely took place yesterday morning from his late residence, 1632 Oxford street, and was attended by many friends and business associates of the late inventor….

The honorary pall-bearers were…John T. Willing…

Trow’s (formerly Wilson’s) Business Directory of the Boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx, City of New York, 1898
Designers & Draughtsmen
Willing Thomson, 70, 5th av

New York Herald
February 5, 1899
An Artists’ Lounging Club
…To have a mantelpiece which, instead of being the work of some firm of interior decorators, is composed of tiles painted by distinguished artists sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? But the dream is realized in Salmagundi’s lounging room. At the east end is a mantel decorated in blue and white by members of the club. The large centre panel is by Van Laer, the uprights by Dessar, the sides by Drake and Redmonti. Other artists represented are Thomson Willing, E. N. Blue, Frank Russell Green, Earle, Miller, Naegeli, Ostrander, who laid out the general scheme, and Volkmar.

1900 United States Federal Census
108 45th Street, Manhattan, New York
Name / Age / Occupation
John Willing, 38, art designer [immigrated 1883]
Charlotte E Willing, 35 [wife]
Jessie G Willing, 12 [daughter]
Vanderveer Willing, 10 [son]
Harriett Vanderveer, 63 [mother-in-law]

The New York Times
April 21, 1900
The second annual library dinner of the Salmagundi Club, followed by the sale at auction of the usual twenty-four decorated mugs, limited, registered, and signed, took place on the evening of Friday, April 13….

The sum realized from the sale was $613.53, against $397 last year. This sum will be expended by the librarian, William Henry Shelton, and the new members of the Library Committee, Thomson Willing and James B. Carrington of Scribners’ Magazine….

Brooklyn Life
January 12, 1901
One of the most interesting collections of prints in this country is being made by the Salmagundi Club, which has undertaken the formation of a pictorial history of the fashions of the nineteenth century….Each volume is to have a special title-page by Thomson Willing, the chief decorative
feature of which will be a miniature head typical of the period.

The Philadelphia Inquirer
April 14, 1902
Gave Professor a Banquet
A banquet was tendered to Professor Diegendesch on Saturday night, at the School of Industrial Art, by the students of Life Class, ’02. Thompson Willing and C. Thompson, superintendent of the Art School, were two of the guests.

Boyd’s Blue Book: A Directory from Selected Streets of Philadelphia and Surroundings
C.E. Howe Company, 1906
Wayne Avenue
5909 Mr. & Mrs. John Thomson Willing

Twain Quotes
Mark Twain’s Illustrated Biography
These installments followed the unillustrated serialized edition of Autobiography that appeared in North American Review although the segments were not identical. John Thomson Willing was the art editor of the Associated Sunday Magazines and it is likely that he made the arrangements with the various illustrators for the artwork. Willing later informed F. Luis Mora that Mark Twain was very enthusiastic about the color portrait that was featured on the cover of Sunday Magazine that introduced the series on October 27, 1907.

November 1907
The meeting was called to order at 8:20 by President J. T. Willing. The secretary reported that he had sent the report of the last meeting for publication in the technical papers and that the association had decided

1910 United States Federal Census
5909 Wayne Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Name / Age / Occupation
John T Willing, 48, magazine editor
Charlotte E Willing, 48 [wife]
Jessie G Willing, 22 [daughter]
Vander Veer Willing, 20 [son]
Elizabeth H Willing, 3 [daughter]
Mary F Lillie, 42 [servant]
Mary E Paschall, 37 [servant]

The Philadelphia Inquirer
August 13, 1911
Mr. and Mrs. J. Thomson Willing and their daughter, Miss Willing, who are passing the summer in their bungalow at Guilford, Conn., will return to their home, 5900 Wayne avenue, on September 20.

The Bookman

September 1911

The New York Times
November 3, 1911
Artists Welcome Craig
Book, magazine and newspaper illustrator packed Keen’s English Chophouse in West Thirty-sixth Street last night to do honor to Frank Craig, one of the foremost English artists, who has done much work for book and magazine publishers in this country.

More than one hundred of the best known artists and illustrators in the city were present, and the dinner had not progressed far before the news got abroad that, while it was still something of a secret, the real occasion for rejoicing among the artists was that Mr. Craig was about to cast off some of his British ties and become an American by permanent residence at least….

…The dinner was a long way from being formal, since Charles Dana Gibson, toastmaster, Montagne Glass, Mr. Craig himself, and other kindred spirits were out to tell stories and sing songs….

…Among the artists and writers present were Andre Castagne, Harrison Fisher, Arthur I. Keller, Wallace Morgan, T.B. Wells, Alonzo Kimball, W.L. Jacobs, C.D. Williams, Lucius Wolcott Hitchcock, J.H. Chapin, art editor of Scribner’s Magazine, Montgomery Flagg, John Thomson Willing, and Troy Kinney.

American Graphic Art
Frank Weitenkampf
Henry Holt and Company, 1912
The Book-Plate
…Thomson Willing, Victor S. Perard, Henry Mayer and A. F. Matthews. To them may be added the architects Russell Sturgis (Avery Architectural Library, Columbia University: in form of tablet), Charles I. Berg, A. W. Brunner, George Fletcher

The Washington Herald
(Washington, DC)
February 23, 1913
Learn One Thing Every Day (Washington Herald advertisement)

The Washington Herald
(Washington, DC)
March 6, 1913
Six Famous Beauties of Former Times
Read About Them in The Herald Columns Every Day Next Week.
Beautiful Women! What a world of meaning those two words convey. The makers of kingdoms; the destroyers of empires; the inspiration of warriors and poets of statesmen and painters. How much we should like to have met those old time beauties who inspired famous artists to paint some of their greatest pictures.

We know some thing of their charm from their portraits, and we can own copies of the portraits painted by these artists. Mr. J. Thomson Willing, author of “Some Old Time Beauties,” and “Dames of High Degree,” will introduce you to six of these beautiful women in next week’s “Mentor.” They are the Duchess of Devonshire, Mrs. Sarah Siddons, Madame Vigee Le Brun, Queen Louisa of Prussia, Madame Recamier, and the Countess Zofia Potocka.

And each day in the columns of The Herald the story of one of these portraits will be told. On Monday you will read the story of how Thomas Gainsborough came to be a painter. This genius had a queer taste for learning to play all sorts of musical instruments. Gainsborough painted the portrait of the Duchess of Devonshire.

Mrs. Sarah Siddons was the greatest actress that the British stage has ever known. Her famous portrait as the “Tragic Muse” was painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds. Tuesday’s paper will tell you about them both.

Besides being a very beautiful woman, Vigee Le Brun was a great artist. By the tune she was fifteen years old she was well Known as a portrait painter. During her life she painted over 800 pictures—among them several portraits of herself. You will be told on Wednesday, among other things, how she dared to offend Napoleon.

It is a sad truth that marriages between royal personages are not always love matches. But on Thursday you will read a true love story that is one of the sweetest the world has ever known. This is the story of Frederick William III of Prussia and Queen Louisa, whose portrait was painted many years after her death by Gustav Richter.

Mme. Recamier and Jacques Louis David, who painted her portrait will be the subjects of Friday’s daily story. Brilliant, good, and beautiful Mme. Recamier was a leader in tho political and literary life of her time.

A slave girl who became a countess will be the subject for Saturday. Alexandre Kucharski painted the well known picture of the Countess Zofia Potocka. You all know this picture, but perhaps you do not know the story of this beautiful girl.

These six women besides being beautiful played prominent parts in history and every one should know about them. An additional value of the series, too, is in the artistic reproductions of these world renowned portraits which accompany “The Mentor.” They are a delight to the eye and a pleasure to own.

The daily stories that are being published in our columns are part of the plan of The Associated Newspaper School to give you just what you have always wanted to know about Art, Travel, History, Science, Natural History, and Literature. The Herald gives you day by day, and week by week, the benefits of this plan. The daily feature is the human interest story that you will read in the columns of the Herald. The weekly feature of the plan is “The Mentor,” which gives you an illustrated article by an eminent authority on the subject of the week. “The Mentor” also contains six beautiful pictures either in color or in intaglio-gravure.

The price of “The Mentor” is 10 cents, and it can be purchased at the Herald office.

New York Tribune
Sunday Magazine
August 17, 1913
Worth While Folk – By J.Thomson Willing
N.C. Wyeth

American Art Annual
Volume XI
Florence N. Levy, Editor
American Federation of Arts, 1914
American Institute of Graphic Arts

Herringshaw’s American Blue Book of Biography: Prominent Americans of 1914
Thomas William Herringshaw
American Publishers’ Association, 1914
Willing, John Thompson, artist and author of 52 East Nineteenth st., New York City, was born Aug. 5, 1860, in Canada. He is the author of Some Old Time Beauties and other works.

Arts and Decoration
June 1914
American Institute of Graphic Arts

The Evening Star
(Washington, DC)
June 11, 1914
A Poet in Charcoal
By J. Thomson Willing
A sketch of Wladyslaw T. Benda, the Polish-American artist; accompanied by a double-page drawing by Benda of nine beautiful women in artistic poses—a picture so charming that it is sure to be framed in many a home.

New York Tribune
June 14, 1914
A Poet in Charcoal
By J. Thomson Willing

Springfield Republican
June 21, 1914
Institute of Geographic Arts
Formed to Fill a Need Brought to Notice by International Exposition at Leipsic.
Preparations in all parts of the world to send exhibits to the international exposition at Leipsic for book industries and graphic arts, brought very sharply into notice the lack of an organization in the United States which looks after the interests of those connected with the graphic arts. We have an extraordinary number of printers and publishers, etchers and engravers, men engaged in the paper and ink industries, artists and men of business, says Arts and Decoration, but they have no society, club or institute for a place of meeting, an exchange where their several claims might be considered. Realization of this gap in our art societies led a number of gentlemen to the plan of founding an institute of the graphic arts at once even if too late to organize an exhibit this summer at Leipsic. William B. Howland, Alexander W. Drake, John C. Agar, John Clyde Oswald and Charles de Kay were the first movers to this end. The institute was incorporated and the following officers elected: Honorary president, Alexander W. Drake of the Century company, New York; president, William B. Howland, publisher of the Independent, New York; vice-president, John Clyde Oswald, editor of the American Printer; treasurer, J. Thomson Willing of the American lithographic company; secretary, Charles de Kay.

Some 150 charter members have been elected as a preliminary to the formation of a large membership. The objects of the institute as expressed by the articles of incorporation and by-laws reveal a very wide field of operation. Its purpose is to encourage and stimulate artists who are engaged in one or other of the many arts that come under the term graphic. The institute intends to be a center for intercourse and discussion, proposes, if need be, to publish books and periodicals, but certainly to hold exhibitions at home and abroad and to promote in other ways the higher education in all branches of the graphic arts in this country. Membership at $10 per annum includes active workers and laymen of both sexes in all parts of the Union. The institute intends to meet the need of an organization such as defined, and offers from time to time foreign work at its exhibitions so that members may be able to keep in touch with what is being done abroad. It will hold an exhibition in New York next autumn and perhaps participate in the Panama-San Francisco exhibition next year.

Art and Progress
July 1914
The New Society for Graphic Arts

The Bulletin of the Authors’ League of America
Associated Sunday Magazines and Every Week
95 Madison Avenue, New York
Editor…..Bruce Barton
Literary Editor…..E. lewis
Art Editor…..J.T. Willing
Uses: Special articles and photos, no illustrations or poetry.
Character of Fiction preferred: 5,000 word stories, love, mystery and adventure.
Payment is made upon acceptance.

The Graphic Arts
February 1915
The American Institute of Graphic Arts advertisement

Evening Public Ledger
(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
July 10, 1915
Mr. and Mrs. J. Thompson Willing and family, of 5909 Wayne avenue, left last week for Henryville, Monroe County, Pa., to occupy their cottage as usual for the summer months.

The New York Times
December 19, 1915
Prizes for Postcard Designs
The Association of Women Painters and Sculptors announces that Charles Duveen and Roland Knoedler will each give a $50 prize, and an anonymous publisher a $25 prize, in addition to the $100 prize offered by the Association of Women Painters and Sculptors for the best designs for postcards of New York and vicinity.

Those who are promoting the exhibition are greatly gratified by the unusual interest shown and by the fact that a large number are planning to compete.

For the opening reception the following well-known men have consented to speak: Joseph Pennell of London, etcher, writer and lecturer, who is spending the Winter in America; J. Thomson Willing, art manager of the Associated Sunday Magazines and Every Week, and Arthur Dow, artist and professor of Columbia, University.

The exhibition and reception will take place on Wednesday evening, Jan. 5, at the Municipal Art Gallery, Washington Irving High School, Manhattan, and the exhibition will remain open, free, until Jan. 30.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
(New York)
December 20, 1915
Cash Prizes Offered for Post Card Designs
The Association of Women Painters and Sculptors announces that Charles Duveen and Roland Knoedler will each give a $50 prize, a mysterious and interested, publisher will give a $25 prize, in addition to the $100 prize offered, by the Association of Women Painters and Sculptors for the best designs for post cards of New York and vicinity.

For the opening reception, the speakers will be: Joseph Pennell of London, etcher, writer and lecturer, who is spending the winter in America; J. Thomson Willing, art manager of the Associated Sunday Magazines and Every Week, and Arthur Dow, of Columbia, University.

The exhibition and reception will take place on Wednesday evening, January 5, at the Municipal Art Gallery, Washington Irving High School, Manhattan, and the exhibition will remain open, free, until January 30.

New York Sun
December 20, 1915
The Association of Women Painters and Sculptors announces three additional prizes in the postcard design competition which it has organized. Charles Duveen and Roland Knoedler will each give a $50 prize and an anonymous but greatly interested publisher will give a $25 prize. These are in addition to the $100 which will be given by the Association of Women Painters and Sculptors for the best design for a postcard of New York and vicinity.

For the opening reception the following men have consented to speak: Joseph Pennell of London, etcher, writer and lecturer, who is spending the winter in America; J. Thompson Willing, art manager of Every  Week, and Arthur Dow, artist and professor of Columbia, University. The exhibition and reception will take place on Wednesday evening, January 5, in the Municipal Art Gallery, Washington Irving High School, and the exhibition will remain open, free until January 30.

The Philadelphia Inquirer
January 2, 1916
The Association of Woman Painters and Sculptors has announced further prizes in its coming postcard design, (N. Y. and vicinity) competition. Messrs. Charles Duveen and Roland Knoedler have each given $50 prizes and a publisher has offered one of $25. The association’s prize is $100. The exhibition of the principal designs submitted will be open free at the Municipal Art Gallery, Sixteenth street and Irving place, January 5-30. At the opening reception on the first date Joseph Pennell, J. Thomson Willing and Prof. Arthur Dow, of Columbia, will speak.

The New York Times
March 16, 1916
Shakespearean Bookplate Contest.
A new means has been devised to honor the multitudinously honored bard of Avon during his tercentenary celebration. The American Institute of Graphic Arts is joining with the Shakespeare Birthday Committee in arranging a bookplate contest with the purpose of further stimulating interest in the works of the grew poet. The contest is open to all who desire to compete, the drawings are to be devoted exclusively to a Shakespearean motif and are to be signed on the back with a pseudonym to correspond with a pseudonym on a sealed envelope containing the competitor’s name and address. Each competitor may submit more than one drawing. The dimensions of the board on which the drawing appears should be sent prepaid, addressed to the American Institute of Graphic Arts, 344 West Thirty-eighth Street, New York. The prizes are, first, $100; second, $60; third, $40. The contest closes May 15. The committee for the American Institute of Graphic Arts is John Clyde Oswald, President; J.H. Chapin, and J. Thomson Willing. For the Shakespeare Birthday Committee, Henry Clews, Chairman; John De Witt Warner, Treasurer, and Mrs. James Madison Bass.

The Inland Printer
May 1916
Shakespearean Bookplate Contest advertisement

Evening Public Ledger
(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
June 23, 1916
Mr. and Mrs. J. Thompson Willing and Miss Jessie Willing, of 5909 Wayne avenue, will leave on Monday for Henryville, Pa., where they will occupy their cottage for the remainder f=of the summer.

The Art & Practice of Typography
Edmund Geiger Gress
Oswald Publishing Company, 1917
Shakespearean Bookplate Contest advertisement

Current Opinion
December 1917
National Arts Club Notes
At an evening devoted to a discussion as to whether the illustrator shall illustrate the author or the magazine, arranged by the American Institute of Graphic Arts, J. T. Willing presided and among the illustrators who expressed themselves pro and con were N.C. Wyeth and F. Walter Taylor.

Allied War Salon: Exhibition December 9 to 24, 1918, American Art Galleries, Under the Management of American Art Association
American Art Galleries, 1918
J.T. Willing

The Salmagundi Club: Being a History of Its Beginning as a Sketch Class, Its Public Service as The Black and White Society, and Its Career as a Club from MDCCCLXXI to MCMXVIII
William Henry Shelton
Houghton Mifflin, 1918
Willing, Thomson, lettering on tiled fireplace by, 85; panel by, 88; decoration of Red Room by, 94; on book-plate committee, 103; designed title-page for Costumes of the Nineteenth Century, 110.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
(New York)
July 13, 1918
Party of Artists Inspects Upton
Base Hospital and Other Buildings Visited.

The Sun
(New York, New York)
July 14, 1918
Some War Pictures Had Been Inaccurate in Details.
Ninety-three artists spent Friday at Camp Upton studying war as it is actually waged and warriors as they actually appear. There were some need for such instruction because many army folk regarded the crop of war pictures hitherto as unconvincing and inaccurate in detail.

…Ambulances were provided for the women artists and motor trucks for the men. The artists and illustrators who were guided about the camp were…J. Thomson, D. Willing [sic]

New York Tribune
November 30, 1918
Saint Mark’s in the Bouwerie
F. Luis Mora and J. Thomson Willing on “The Work of the Pictorial Publicity Committee.”

Evening Public Ledger
(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
January 15, 1919
Van Der Veer Willing
Van De [sic] Veer Willing, an advertising agent, died yesterday at the home of his parents, 5909 Wayne avenue, Germantown, of pneumonia, following grip. He was twenty-nine years old. After graduation from the Germantown Academy in 1907 he studied for a time in the Jefferson Medical School, leaving there to enter business. He was the son of J. Thompson Willing, for fifteen years editor of the Associated Sunday Magazine. His parents and two sisters, Jessie De Lancey Willing and Elizabeth Hunncwell Willing, survive. The funeral will be tomorrow afternoon from the Wayne avenue home. The Rev. Stewart P. Keeling will offciate and interment will be in Greenwood Cemetery, New York.

The Inland Printer
March 1919
American Institute of Graphic Arts Program.
…The officers of the “Institute” are: John Clyde Oswald, honorary president; Arthur S. Allen, president; Arthur W. Dow, J.H. Chapin and Thomas Nast Fairbanks, vice-presidents. Directors: J. Thomson Willing, Fred W. Goudy, Clarence H. White, William E. Rudge, Edward B. Edwards, Ray Greenleaf, Cyril Nast, Frederick A. Ringler.

…Program Committee: J.T. Willing, J. H Chapin, H.S. Train, Everett R. Currier.

…Membership Committee: H.H. Cooke, Harrie A. Bell, H.P. Carruth, J.J. Carroll, N.T.A. Munder, R.S. Williams, J.T. Willing, J.L. Engle, Harry Gage.

The Inland Printer
October 1919
American Institute of Graphic Arts
The committees appointed to look after the activities of The American Institute of Graphic Arts during the coming season are as follows:

…Membership Committee: Heyworth Campbell, chairman; Harry L. Gage; Norman T.A. Munder,; J.Thomson Willing; J.H. Chapin; Allen Eaton; William Kittredge; Clarence H. White; Arthur W. Dow; Cyril Nast.

…Educational: Arthur W. Dow, chairman; John Clyde Oswald; Clarence H. White; Ray Greenleaf; James A. Anderson; J.H. Chapin; J.Thomson Willing.

…Awards: J.Thomson Willing, chairman; Edward B. Edwards; Fred W. Goudy; C.E. Connelly.

The International Studio
November 1919
War Artists as Seen by William Oberhardt
…One of the best heads in the collection is that of J. Thomson Willing, who was also one of the hardest workers in the Division. It was directly due to Mr. Willing’s earnest efforts that the Salvation Army Drive, the Campaign for the Relief of Armenia and the Near East, and the Methodist Centenary Drive were so successful.

1920 United States Federal Census
5909 Wayne Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Name / Age / Occupation
Thompson Willing, 60, magazine editor
Charlotte E Willing, 59 [wife]
Jessie G Willing, 31, illustrator [daughter]
Elizabeth H Willing, 13 [daughter]
Jestava Bradley, 27 [servant]

A Treatise on One of the Factors in the Advancement of the Art of Printing, with Examples
Japan Paper Company, 1920
American Institute of Graphic Arts

The Sun and the New York Herald
May 2, 1920
Notes and Activities in the World of Art
Some details of the plans for the proposed Cooperative Art Building came to light at a big dinner given last Tuesday evening at the Hotel Pennsylvania.

Among the hosts and hostesses present were…Mr. J. Thomson Willing…

Salt Lake Telegram
(Salt Lake City, Utah)
February 27, 1921
Harry Durant, editor in chief, Famous Players-Lasky corporation; John S. Robertson, Paramount special director, and Dr. Hugo Riesenfeld, managing director of the Rialto, Rivoli and Criterion theaters, were guest of the National Arts club in Grammercy park Monday evening. The occasion was the weekly “Open Table” of the club, motion pictures being the topic. J. Thomson Willing, editor of Motion Picture Play Magazine, was the chairman of the evening and Messrs. Durant, Robertson and Riesenfeld led the discussions each from his respective angle of association with motion pictures.

The Evening Star
(Washington, DC)
March 3, 1921
Gen. Wood Asks Aid for Near East
Gen. Wood’s committee is composed of the following: …J. Thomson Willing

The New York Times
May 1, 1921
Art and Trade Conference.
Over forty representatives of the art department of the high schools and the art trades of the city met last week at the Cosmopolitan Club to arrange cooperative relations between the two bodies.

The meeting was arranged by Miss Florence N. Levy, under the auspices of the School Art League, and those present were the guests of Mrs. John W. Alexander of the Board of Managers of the league. Dr. James P. Haney, director of art in the high schools, presided.

“The meeting,” said Dr. Haney, “was especially arranged to forward the joint education of the two groups concerned. It was desired, on one hand, that the trade should know what the high schools are doing through their art departments to prepare industrial designers. On the other hand, it was necessary for the art teachers of the high schools to know the special needs of the different trades.”

…A strong was plea was made by J.T. Willing, art director of The Motion Play Magazine, for expert training in technique. “Our shortcomings in technical work are national,” said Mr. Willing. “We ought not to train our artists to think that others will work up their ideas if they only visualize them. We need a thorough drill in drawing and design in the art schools the country over.”

The Print Connoisseur
June 1921
The “Heads” of Oberhardt

The American Printer
November 20, 1921
President Frederic W. Goudy, of the American Institute of Graphic Arts has appointed the following committees:

Executive—John Clyde Oswald, chairman; J. Thomson Willing, William Edwin Rudge, George A. Nelson, Joseph H. Chapin, Thomas Nast Fairbanks, Clarence H. White….

Program—Heyworth Campbell, chairman; E. E. Calkins, F. D. Casey, J. H. Chapin, E. A. Kendrick, Oscar Morgner, J. T. Willing….

New York Herald
November 21, 1921
National Arts Club Shows Own ‘Follies’
…These skits and tableaux, which were produced in connection with the Books of the Year exhibition, now on at the club, drew a large audience. Among the members of the club who appeared in skits were…J. Thomson Willing.

New York Herald
December 8, 1921
J. Thompson Willing, lecture on “The Making of a Magazine,” Morris High School, Boston road and 166th street, 8:15 P.M.

The American Printer
June 5, 1922
Willing Heads Institute
The annual meeting of the American Institute of Graphic Arts was held at Art Center, New York, the evening of Tuesday, May 23. President Frederick W. Goudy presided. The proceedings consisted of reports of the officers and chairmen of committees and a discussion of the past year’s activities and of plans for the coming year.

J. Thomson Willing, a charter member of the Institute and its first treasurer, was elected president. Mr. Willing is one of the best-known men in the graphic arts and, because of his wide acquaintance, his ability as an artist and art director and his interest and sympathy in the objects of the Institute, his administration will undoubtedly be one of successful activity. In accepting the office he made an address, giving his conception of the Institute’s purposes and possibilities of accomplishment and setting forth his tentative plans for the coming year….

1922: President (1922–1923): J. Thomson Willing, artist/art manager of American Lithograph Co.

The Bridgeport Times
August 24, 1922
Medal for Best Exhibit at Show
The American Institute of Graphic Arts is greatly interested in the Second Educational Graphic Arts Exposition, Mechanics’ building, Boston, Aug. 28–Sept. 2, and have offered a bronze medal to be awarded by the judges to the most meritorious exhibit in Honor Hall.

J. Thompson Willing, president of the American Institute of Graphic Arts in his letter to the directors of the Exposition says:

“The American Institute of Graphic Arts is much interested in the success of your Exposition.

“I am instructed by our board of directors to emphasize that interest by offering a bronze medal of the Institute to be awarded by the judges to the most meritorious exhibit in Honor Hall.

“Assuring you of our desire to do anything within our power to forward the interests of your Exposition.’
Bulletin of the Art Center
September 1922
The Taylor-Coll Memorial Exhibition
By J. Thomson Willing

The Christian Science Monitor
September 11, 1922
The Drawings of J. C. Coll, and Illustration as Mislaid Art
…[Joseph Clement] Coll, with his facile sweep of colorful line, loved the subjects which gave his imagination full play—mounted knights in armor thundering down a mountain side; sinister figures bending out of darkness over the flare of a candle; the costumed crowds of medieval ceremonies. This flair for the colorful theme led publishers to send him many tales of the magic and mystery of the East, until the exotic note persisted in much of his later work. Yet I have seen in books which he presented to J. Thompson Willing, sometimes called the dean of New York art directors, sketches, filling the margins of the pages, of the most exquisite purity and charm, revealing a poetic and spiritual nature. Priceless gems, these books—labors of love for the man whose encouragement and training in early years meant much to him....

Bulletin of the Art Center
October 1922
The Graphic Arts Medal
The Institute Medal was awarded by the Honor Hall Exhibition Committee at the recent Graphic Arts Exposition in Boston to Daniel Berkeley Updike for the “most meritorious work exhibited in Honor Hall.”

Arrangements have been made to have Mr. Fraser’s original models of this medal on view for a time at the home of the American Institute of Graphic Arts in Art Center, and we therefore quote a brief review by President Willing, of its origin and significance:

“When preparations for the Printing Exhibition of 1920 were being made, it was thought advisable to offer awards in the various lines of work. A medal was decided on by the Board of Directors of the A.I.G.A., with graded values in its importance, gold, silver and bronze.

“The then president, Mr. Arthur S. Allen, appointed this committee of three to have a medal prepared: Mr. J. Thomson Willing, chairman; and Messrs. F.W. Goudy and Clarence H. White. Mr. James Earle Fraser, the eminent sculptor, undertook the commission proffered him.
“For the obverse, but one design was submitted—the one adopted. It was thought to be decorative, symbolic and also realistic. For the reverse several sketches were considered until that with the tree, its roots in utility and its foliage developing beauty, was approved. The design was reproduced by the Medallic Art Company.

“Mr. Fraser is at the head of all medallists of the country. He is a pupil of St. Gaudens and took his master’s place in the Fine Arts Commission of Washington by appointment of President Woodrow Wilson.

“His medallion portrait of St. Gaudens is a remarkably fine bas-relief. He has just completed a heroic statue of Hamilton for the front of the Treasury Building in Washington, and is engaged on the very important monument of Ericsson to be erected there as part of the national monumental scheme of the capital.

“The award of the medal at the Boston Exposition is its first bestowal since the Printing Show in 1920, when many copies of it were given.”
Editor & Publisher
November 18, 1922
The New York League of Advertising Women will hold its monthly dinner November 21 at the Advertising Club. There will be four speakers. Edwin Bird Wilson will speak on Advertising America. What’s New in China will be discussed by Miss A. Estelle Paddock. Marlin E. Pew, editor and manager, the International News Service, will talk on The News Value of Advertising and J. Thomson Willing, president, the American Institute of Graphic Arts, will discuss Is Art Possible in Advertising.

Bulletin of the Art Center
April 1923
American Institute of Graphic Arts
Clinton F. Wilding, Associate Editor
It is to be doubted if A.I.G.A. ever held a more interesting or worthwhile meeting than that of February 15. The theme of the evening was, as usual, the current exhibition, “Printing Previous to the Nineteenth Century.”

Immediately upon President Willing's opening of the meeting, Mr. John Clyde Oswald spoke briefly on old book collecting as a hobby, with a graceful word or two on the attractions and sound merits of hobbies in general. The president then introduced Mr. Fred T. Singleton, who gave members and their guests an absorbing hour with typographical craftsmen from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century. Mr. Singleton proved himself not only an expert typographical designer, but a devotee and a student as well. Perhaps the best way to convey briefly an idea of his grasp of his subject is through an outline of his approach….

…President Willing’s witty comment on Mr. Singleton’s contribution was that a few more such papers would bring the organization to a point where its name, “American Institute of Graphic Arts,” would fit without a wrinkle. As for the authoritative literature on the history and technique of type and type ornament, and the designing of letter press, Mr. Willing urged that Mr. Singleton fill the breach at his earliest convenience….

Springfield Republican
April 3, 1923
Will Lecture on Wood Engraving
J. Thomson Willing to Be Speaker at Springfield Publicity Club Meeting at the City Library

J. Thomson Willing, president of the American Institute of Graphic Arts of New York city, will lecture tonight at 8 in conjunction with the opening of the free exhibition of prints and books illustrating the history and development of wood engraving, which is being arranged by the Springfield Publicity club at the City library.

Mr. Willing will discuss the history and development of wood engraving and will trace it from its origination to the present day. He is the editor of the Gravure Service corporation of New York. Himself a painter he has a wide acceptance among workers in the graphic arts. He is the author of several books and articles on graphic arts which are appearing in national magazines.

Mr. Willing is a member of the Franklin Book and Literary club of Philadelphia and of the National Arts club, the Shakespeare club, Art Directors club and the Society of Illustrators of New York….

Bulletin of the Art Center
May 1923
J. Thomson Willing Portrait by William Oberhardt

Bulletin of the Art Center
September 1923
American Institute of Graphic Arts
J. Thomson Willing, president

Bulletin of the Art Center
November 1923
The October Private View
Mr. J. Thomson Willing, president

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
(New York)
November 24, 1923
Edna Synder Wins Book Plate Prize
Winners of the prizes in the competition for Brooklyn Botanic Garden Book Plate Design have been announced by the judges, who awarded Edna Synder of Bay Ridge High School first place and the sum of $15, and Charles Geier of Boys Commercial High School second [lace and $10….

…The judges in the contest included William H. Fox, director of the Brooklyn Museum, chairman; J. Thomson Willing, president of the American Institute of Graphic Arts and editor of the Gravure Service Corporation, and Miss Florence A. Newcomb of the Art Department of the Washington Irving High School.

Bulletin of the Art Center
December 1923
Harmonious Book Page
By J. Thomson Willing

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
(New York)
December 18, 1923
Boro Pupils Win All Book Plate Prizes
Cash prizes were presented to the following winners in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden book plate competition by Dr. C. Stuart Gager, director of the Botanic Garden, Dec. 11, in the laboratory building, all high school pupils of this boro:

First prize, $15, Edna Snyder, Bay Ridge High: second prize, $10, Chas. Geier, Boys Commercial High; third prize, $5, Virginia Bowman, Erasmus Hall High; third prize, $5, B. A. Ginsburg, Boys Commercial High; first honorable mention, Edith Miller, Bay Ridge High; second honorable mention, M. L. Berg, Erasmus Hall High.

M. Thomson Willing, president of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, made the address of the afternoon, and tea was served, to guests. Invited for the occasion by Miss Newcomb of the art department of Washington Irving High School. Instructors in charge of art departments in high schools, pupil contestants and members of the woman’s auxiliary were guests.

March 8, 1924
The Mentor Association advertisement
Famous Paintings

The New York Times
May 14, 1924
Shakespeare Society Extends Over Nation
Group of 150 Professors and Actors Is formed as Nucleus of Larger Association.
The organization of the Shakespeare Association of America was announced yesterday by Professor Ashley H. Thorndyke, head of the English Department of Columbia University, author of numerous critical and editorial works on Shakespeare and a Vice President of the British Shakespeare Association.

The work of organizing a group of 150 professors and actors into a nation-wide association which will be the nucleus for a larger membership was started last Fall by Mrs. James Madison Bass, former President of the New York Shakespeare Society and First Vice President of the new association.

Other Vice Presidents include…John Thompson Willing...

Evening Gazette
(Port Jervis, New York)
December 8, 1924
(The Golden Rule contest appeared in many newspapers.)

The Inland Printer
January 1925
Relief Plates. Rotagravure or Offset?
At the meeting of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Tuesday, November 25, the subject for discussion was “The Newer Methods of Putting Pictures Into Print. The meeting was presided over by Stephen H. Horgan, who outlined the present-day trend of the various processes, then introduced the speakers, John J. Carr, J. Thomson Willing and Harry L. Gage, each one taking up the defense of his featured method. We are giving a summarized report of the principal points emphasized by the speakers:
…J. Thomson Willing, artist and art director, followed Mr. Carr and prefaced his remarks on the artistic excellence of rotagravure reproduction by recounting the art methods that preceded it, until he came to photogravure as produced in Paris a score or more years ago. This coming with a revival of mezzotint supplied pictures wherein were rendered full tone values of paintings or deep-toned photographs which caught the fancy of an unimaginative public. Photography was being bettered by real art taste in selection of subject, by better design and tonal composition. This betterment justified its being regarded as one of the fine arts, and photogravure was the only process reproducing the qualities giving art distinction.

Photogravure was a slow hand-printing process, and years elapsed before the invention of rotagravure, which is a method of mass production. From the engraved copper cylinder impressions can be run off at the rate of 3,000 to 5,000 an hour, and a cylinder will print 100,000 to 125,000, according to the depth of the etching. Cylinders are, after printing, ground slightly and repolished, ready for a new etching. After several reetchings they are built up again by electrolysis. When the printed web of paper comes from the cylinder it passes over a steam-heated drum to dry the ink, then cooled by a stream of cold air, or by passing over a cold cylinder.

It is this heating and cooling to dry the ink, which means, expansion and shrinking of the paper, that means expansion and shrinking of the paper, that makes color register in rotogravure so difficult. This difficulty will, however, be overcome he thought. Mr. Willing stressed as his most important point the proper selection of copy for rotogravure. In the halftone process the tendency was to gray the highlights as well as the shadows of the copy. In rotogravure the tendency was the exact opposite; the deep tones are deepened and the high-lights brightened.

When the artist and the photographer supply copy with subtle variations in depth of tone they may be assured that rotagravure is best suited to preserve in the reproduction all these qualities. For catalogue work, to show details of products and to give the convincing verity a photograph gives, so valuable in salesmanship, rotagravure is especially valuable.

It has reached the stage where a whole magazine, including pictures and type, is now being printed in this way. While rotagravure is not ideal for the printing of type, the great improvement in the printing of pictures far outbalances this drawback. In these days of visual education the value of rotagravure in an illustrated magazine can be appreciated. It is the latest word in the reproductive graphic art.

The New York Times
January 22, 1925
Gifts to Art League.
Announced at Anniversary Dinner of Students’ Organization.
The fiftieth anniversary dinner of the Art Students’ League of New York was held last night at the American Fine Arts Building, 215 West Fifty-seventh Street, and preceded the opening tonight of the golden jubilee exhibition of American art by league members.

…Charles Dana Gibson acted as toastmaster and three of the founders of the league were at the speaker’ table, Mrs. Thomas W. Dewing, Miss Susan Ketcham and and James Kelly, whose account of the beginning of the art school was read by J.T. Willing….

Brooklyn Life
May 16, 1925
Spring Inspection of the Botanic Gardens
…Among those present were noticed…Mr. J. Thomson Willing…

Rockford Register-Gazette
(Rockford, Illinois)
August 31, 1925
Sculpture in Soap Judges October 15th
A second competition for small sculpture using white soap as a medium, is announced by the Art Center of New York, the prizes to be presented by Proctor and Gamble. A jury of award consisting of nationally known sculptors will present the prizes on December 1 at a private view and reception at the Art Center, 65 East Fifty-sixth street, New York.

A committee on arrangements and board of directors of the Art Center includes Wilford S. Conrow, chairman; Mrs. Ripley Hitchcock, the president; Heyworth Campbell, Paul B. Hoeber, Chas. Dana Gibson, Joseph H. Chapin, Dean Cornwell, Burton Emmett, Ray Greenleaf, Mrs. John Henry Hammond, G.W. Harting, Mrs. Antoinette B. Harvey, John Oswald, F.W. Shaeffer, Charles B. Upjohn, Walter Whitehead and J. Thomson Willing….

The Philadelphia Inquirer
November 15, 1925
Show Best Made Books
Fifty to Be on Exhibition at Penn Library Thursday Night
The third annual exhibit featuring the fifty best made books of the year, and the second annual exhibition of commercial printing, both of which have been assembled by the American Institute of Graphic Arts, will open in the University of Pennsylvania Library on Thursday night and continue until December 2.

The exhibition will be opened with an address by J. Thomson Willing, prominent craftsman in the book arts, who will take as his subject “Present Standards in Book Production.” The fifty best-made books of the year to be exhibited were chosen by the American Institute of Graphic Arts from among thousands submitted by the publishers and, according to Asa Don Dickinson, University librarian, provide interesting examples of the upward trend of the craftmanship [sic] in the book arts.

The exhibition will be open to the public every weekday from 8.15 to 10.30 o’clock, and on Sunday afternoons from 2 until 6 o’clock.

The New York Times
January 17, 1926
Organize for Art Drive.
Leaders of $750,000 Campaign for Centre Announce Sub-Committees.
Alexander Stewart Webb, Chairman of the Campaign Committee which is raising a $750,000 endowment fund for the Art Centre, 65 East Fifty-sixth Street, announced yesterday the membership of sub-committees organized in seven constituent societies of the Art Centre to support the campaign. The chairmen of the sub-committees follow:

Art Alliance of America, Beatrice Ritchie; Art Directors Club, Walter Whitehead; Society of Illustration, Mrs. E.J. Babcock; New York Society of Craftsmen, Charles B. Upjohn; American Institute of Graphic Arts, J. Thomson Willing; Pictorial Photographers of America, Jerry D. Drew; The Stowaways, F.W. Shaefer.

The New York Times
February 5, 1926
Map Out Art Centre Drive
Volunteers ready to Lead Committees in the Campaign.
Organization of the campaign to raise an endowment fund for the Art Centre, 65 East Fifty-sixth Street, was perfected at a luncheon yesterday of eighty members of constituent organizations of the Centre at the Town Hall Club, 123 West Forty-third Street.

J. Thompson Willing, who presided, said that sixty persons had volunteered to act as vice chairmen in charge of committees of ten for work in the drive. Many more, he said, had agreed to do individual work…;

Book-Plates, Books About Book-Plates, Mainly American: Including the Work of Edwin Davis French, J. Winifred Spenceley
The Walpole Galleries, 1927
299. Willing (Thomson). Lotos Club of New York (The). Egyptian design.

The Editor & Publisher
January 29, 1927
Success Magazine (M) Success Magazine Corporation, F. T. Miller, editor, 251 Fourth avenue, New York. Mss. Personality stories, interviews with men and women who are accomplishing important things—inspirational life stories. Art director, J. T. Willing; photographs, portraits, illustration for fiction, cover designs. Considers all contributions. Payment on publication.

New York Evening Post
April 9, 1927
The Advertiser
Art Heads to Honor Johnson at Annual Dinner—Resor, Calkins, Barton Are on Program
John to M’Lain-Simpers
By Lawrence M. Hughes
Pierce Johnson of J. Walter Thompson Company, retiring president of the Art Directors Club, will be guest of honor at the club’s annual dinner at the Hotel Vanderbilt Friday evening, April 22. A bound portfolio containing 100 or more sketches by artists and art directors will be presented to Mr. Johnson at that time.

Because of the presence of a number of distinguished guests, this year’s dinner will be formal. It will also be the first in which the business public has been asked to participate, and an attendance of 300 is expected. The speakers will include Stanley Resor, president of J. Walter Thompson Company; Bruce Barton, Barton, Durstine & Osborn; Earnest Elmo Calkins of Calkins & Holden, and Henry W. Kent, secretary of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. J. Thomson Willing, president of Gravure Service Corporation, will present the book to Mr. Johnson.

Other guests of honor are to be John La Gatta, president of the Guild of Free Lance Artists; Gilbert T. Hodges, member of the boards of the Sun and Frank A. Munsey companies, and Sir Charles Higham, London advertising agent.

George Wlllard Bonte of Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc., is in charge of general arrangements, and Heyworth Campbell, Conde Nast Publications, of the program. Arthur Mann of Young & Rubicam is president.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
(New York)
August 3, 1927
Plan Art School for Bedford ‘Y’
Noted Artists to Lecture in the Course Starting in Fall.
Brooklyn will not only have a school of commercial and fine arts this fall but also the first school of this character to be conducted by the Y.M.C.A.

The courses to be offered at the Bedford Branch Y.M.C.A. will require three years for completion and will take up art in free-hand sketching, commercial, charcoal, decorative, water color and oil painting. J. Lionel Breslau has been selected as dean of the faculty. Mr. Breslau is a graduate of the Slade School of London University and is a former teacher in the Leeds School of England.

…The following artists will lecture or give criticisms at the school: …J. Thomson Willing.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
(New York)
August 6, 1927
Bedford ‘Y’ to Open Fine Arts School
A school of commercial and fine arts, the first to be conducted by the Y.M.C.A., will be opened this autumn by the Bedford Branch, it is announced. The courses, requiring three years, include free-hand sketching, commercial, charcoal, decorative, water color and oil painting.

J. Lionel Breslau is dean and a score of well-known artists will lecture criticize. Among them will be Linn Ball, C.D. Batchelor, A. Thornton Bishop, Arthur William Brown, Haskell Coffin, Alan H. Crane, Frederick D. Detwiller, Benjamin Eggleston, Hans Flato, Wilfred O. Floing, Marshall Frantz, Willy Pogany, Neysa McNein, Emil Fuchs and J. Thomson Willing.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
(New York)
August 30, 1927
First Y. M. C. A. Art School for Boro
Brooklyn will have the first school of commercial and fine arts this fall ever to be conducted by the Y. M. C. A. The courses to be offered at the Bedford branch will require three years for completion and will take up free-hand sketching, commercial, charcoal, decorative, water-color and oil painting. J. Lionel Breslau has been chosen dean of the faculty.

In a recent survey, New York proved to be the most logical location to open a school of this kind. The priceless collection of works of art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn Museum of Fine Arts, and other art galleries throughout the city, coupled with the great demand for artists’ products, has made Greater New York the art center of the country. Students while studying here will have the opportunity to view the works of great masters and the quaint designs and products of foreign lands which have been carefully collected and stored in our museums. They will also learn the demands of the buyers of their products.

Well-known artists who will lecture or give criticisms at the school include: Lina Ball, C. D. Batchelor, A. Thornton Bishop, Arthur William Brown, Haskell Coffin, Allan H. Crane, Frederick K. Detwiller, Benjamin Eggleston, Hans Flato, Wilfred O. Floing, Marshall Frantz, Emll Fuchs, Charles W. Hawthorne, James W. Kerr, Leander Leitner, Miss Neysa McMein, Ivan G. Olinsky, A. Conway Peyton, Willy Pogany, Theodore de Postels, Norman Price, Thornton D. Skidmore. John A. Ten Eyck 3d, Irwin Ticktikn, Harry W. Watrous and J. Thomson Willing.

Pennsylvania, Death Certificate
Charlotte E Willing
December 1, 1859 – March 4, 1930, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Burial: Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
(New York)
March 6, 1930
On March 4, Charlotte Elizabeth van der Veer, wife of John Thomson Willing. Funeral services on Thursday, 10:30 a.m., at her home, 5909 Wayne Ave., Germantown, Philadelphia. Interment Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, N. Y., Thursday, 3 p.m.

1930 United States Federal Census
5909 Wayne Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Name / Age / Occupation
J Thomson Willing, 69, editor
Jessie Gillespie Willing, 42, artist [daughter]
Elizabeth H Willing, 23 [daughter]

The New York Times
May 3, 1931
Exhibit Mementos of Gramercy Park
Residents of the District Show Portraits and Art Objects Recalling City History.
Incidents in the early history of this city are retold in the Gramercy Park centenary celebration, which opened yesterday with an exhibition of portraits and historical objects of the period at the National Arts Club at 15 Gramercy Park. The exhibit will continue until May 29 in the building which was the home of Samuel J. Tilden, Governor of the State in 1874.

…The committee in charge is composed of..John Thomson Willing.

The New York Times
May 17, 1931
Gramercy Park Gay on 100th Birthday
Whole Neighborhood, Many in Costumes, Sees Vivid Centenary Pageant.
Old Notables Personated
Crinolined Belles Lean on Arms of Their Beaux as Children Pace Through Maypole Dance.
Arrayed in finery as bright and gay as the sunshine reflected on the green of Gramercy Park, resident of the vicinity celebrated yesterday the founding of the square by Samuel Ruggles 100 years ago. Crinolined belles with beaux in chamois peg-top trousers, oblivious to the distant roar of modern Manhattan, marched about the square and then strolled beneath the trees of the park, ribboned bonnets and beaver-top hats in hand, creating for an hour what might have been an etching of an afternoon garden party in 1831.

…A committee composed of the following members, arranged the celebration: …J. Thomson Willing

The Philadelphia Inquirer
August 2, 1931
The wedding of Miss Elizabeth Hunnewell Willing, daughter of J. Thompson Willing, of Germantown, to Rev. Orrin Francis Judd, son of Rev. Archibald M. Judd and Mrs. Judd, of Harrisburg, will take place on Tuesday afternoon, September 22, at half after four o’clock in St. Peter’s Church, Germantown....

The Philadelphia Inquirer
September 2, 1931
Mr. J. Thompson Willing and his daughter, Miss Elisabeth Hunnewell Willing, of Germantown, who have been occupying their cottage in the Poconos, have returned home. The marriage of Miss Willing to Rev. Orrin Francis Judd, son of Rev. and Mrs. Archibald Judd, of Harrisburg, will take place on Tuesday, September 22, at half after four o’clock in St. Peter’s Church, Germantown.

The New York Times
September 18, 1934
Rare Books Exhibit to Open Tomorrow
Goudy, Designer of Type, Will Be Honored at Reception at National Arts Club.
An exhibition of rare books and printing valued at a quarter of a million dollars will open at the National Arts Club tomorrow and continue throughout the week. The exhibit, held in honor of Frederic W. Goudy, the celebrated type designer, will be preceded by a reception and pre-view of the works offered tonight.

The exhibition and reception have been arranged to honor Mr. Goudy’s recent completion of his ninety-second type face, a number which exceed any ever designed by a single craftsman in the history of typography. The display will be open open to the public from 10 A.M. until 6 P.M. in the clubrooms at 15 Gramercy Park.

…The reception committee includes…J. Thompson Willing

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
(New York)
November 1, 1934
Type Specialists Talk Shop at Dinner
The men behind the type faces used in books, magazines and newspapers, came out of their print shops last night to attend the 20th anniversary dinner meeting of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, held at Pratt Institute, Ryerson St. and DeKalb Ave. More than 100 were present.

They spoke of delicately-twisted letters, of bold, aggressive figures, of the elaborate hand-written manuscripts of ancient times, and of the present attractive type forms.

The speakers were past presidents of the institute, and included Frederic W. Goudy, John Clyde Oswald, J. Thomson Willing, Burton Emmett, Harry A. Groesbeck Jr., Arthur Allen and Frederic G. Melcher.

Edward F. Stevens, Pratt Institute librarian, who was chairman of the dinner committee, formally opened the exhibition. The meeting marked the first time the institute has come to Brooklyn for its anniversary. The exhibition will remain at the library until Nov. 12.

Norwood News
(New York, New York)
September 9, 1936
Bruce Barton Says
Beware, Sweet Sounding Whistles
Whence Come Immortality
A dinner was held the other night at which a bronze medal was presented. The dinner was a simple affair, in the grill room of a modest restaurant, down below the street level; to was inexpensive because the people who gave it were mostly artists; they constitute what is known as the Institute of Graphic Arts. The medal was presented to J. Thomson Willing.

“So what?” you probably say. “There are dinners every night, in every restaurant, and who cares? Who is J. Thomson Willing?”

He began life as an artist but, because he had talent for directing and encouraging the work of others, and a fine instinct for the proper arrangement and balance of art and type on the printed page, a newspaper annexed him as art editor.

Subsequently Willing was lured to New York by a great lithographic house, and later he moved on to a group of national magazines. It was during the days of his magazine activities that I came to know him.

We had been together only a few days when I noticed something strange about his office. It seemed to be always full of people. I asked him about it, and he blushed a little and said: “Every year a lot of young artists come to New York, and I feel that somebody ought to be a sort of welcoming committee. So I encourage them to come in. It takes a good deal of time, but every once in a while I am rewarded by making a real discovery.”

Around the table on the night the medal was presented were some of the best known artists in America. They were there because J. Thomson Willing had helped them when they were young; in many cases he was the first to hold out a kindly hand and utter an encouraging word.

He has no wealth; he has no fame beyond the limits of his own profession. But his life will live in the lives he has helped, and [i]n lives that they, in turn, will influence. This is immortality.

The New York Times
November 30, 1936
Mark Twain Group Meeting Here
The Mark Twain Association held its second seasonal meeting yesterday in the music room of the Hotel Barbizon-Plaza on the 101st anniversary of the writer’s birth. Mrs. Ida Benfey Judd, the organization’s president, announced formally that the tenth annual prize for quotations had been awarded to H.E. Swigert of Hannibal, Mo.

Features of the meeting included talks by J. Thomson Willing, a former editor and publisher who was associated with the syndicate that first published Twain’s autobiography serially...

The New York Times
September 29, 1938
Honor Edward Epstean
PM Magazine Artists, Others Mark His 70th Birthday
Edward Epstean, pioneer photoengraver, was honored at a dinner last night in the Hotel Astor by the artists, designers and collaborators of PM Magazine in celebration of his seventieth birthday. J. Thomson Willing, former president of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, was toastmaster at the dinner, which was attended by 235 leaders in art, printing and advertising circles….

The New York Times
March 26, 1939
A competition for poster designs is announced by the National Alliance of Art and Industry, with prizes amounting to $400 offered by the National Graphic Arts Exposition, In. The purpose of the competition is to obtain posters that will draw attention to the Fifth Education Graphic Arts Exposition, to be held at the Grand Central Palace from Sept. 25 to Oct. 7. All designs must be received at the National Alliance between April 17 and April 20.

The judges of the contest include…I. [sic] Thomson Willing….

How Our Quarter Century Began
An address delivered at the 25th annual meeting of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, New York City, May 31st, 1939
Thomson Willing

1940 United States Federal Census
76 Irving Place, New York, New York
Name / Age / Occupation
John T Willing, 79, art editor [naturalized citizen]
Jessie G Willing, 52, artist [daughter]

1942 Manhattan, New York, City Directory
J Thomson Willing
76 Irving Pl Stuyvsnt 9-4355

Willing passed away July 8, 1947, in New York City.

The New York Times
July 9, 1947
John Thomson Willing of 76 Irving Place, who retired as president of the Institute of Graphic Arts in 1924, and eleven years later received the institute’s gold medal for his aid to art in the United States, died yesterday within less than a month of his of eighty-seventh birthday.

For some years, until 1916, Mr. Willing was art editor of the Associated Sunday Magazines, and during the first World War he was in charge of pictorial publicity for the Bureau of Information. Then, until his retirement in 1942, he was art editor of the Gravure Service Corporation.

Mr. Willing was a member of the Franklin Club of Philadelphia and the Royal Academy of Canada. Recently he was elected an honorary vice president of the National Art Club, to which he had belonged for many years.

He leaves two daughters, Miss Jessie Gillespie Willing, with whom he lived; and Mrs. Orrin F. Judd, wife of the rector of St. James Protestant Episcopal Church of Upper Montclair, N.J.

Find a Grave
Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York


The Magic Pen of Joseph Clement Coll
Walt Reed
Introduction by J. Thomson Willing.
North Light Pub, 1978

A Legacy of Art: Paintings and Sculptures by Artist Life Members of the National Arts Club
Carol Lowrey
Hudson Hills, 2007
Francis Luis Mora
Signed lower right: F Luis Mora
Gift of John Thomson Willing for the Men’s Grill. ca.

The Salmagundi Club Painting Exhibition Records 1889 to 1939: A Guide to the Annual Exhibition of Oil Paintings and the Annual Exhibition and Auction Sale of Pictures
Alexander W. Katlan
J.T. Willing

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