The Pen-and-Ink Drawings of George A. Bradshaw

A view of Riverview Cemetery
by George A. Bradshaw,
ca.1935

George A. Bradshaw (1880-1968), a Trenton native, was a noted etcher whose work focused on historic sites in Trenton and elsewhere in New Jersey, and city, land and seascapes in the northeastern United States and Canadian Maritimes. He began his studies at Trenton's School of Industrial Arts in 1915 and quickly mastered the art of drawing and etching. After graduating in 1921 he became an instructor there until his retirement in 1945.

He was a member of the Brooklyn Society of Etchers and its successor, the Society of American Graphic Artists, as well as the Chicago Society of Etchers, the North Shore Artists Association, and the Salmagundi Club.

Bradshaw provided the illustrations for, among others, A History of Trenton, 1629-1929, Two Hundred and Fifty Years of a Notable Town with Links in Four Centuries, a two-volume work published under the auspices of the Trenton Historical Society. The preface noted that in Bradshaw "Trenton possesses an artist whose pen-drawings and etchings have served to make his work favorably known beyond the confines of this locality."

He received many awards for his works which were widely exhibited across the nation, and was also recognized in "Fine Prints of the Year, 1929" for an interior of the chapel at Princeton University, and again in "Fine Prints of the Year, 1935" for an arch of the library of Princeton University.

Bradshaw made a number of pen-and-ink drawings of Riverview Cemetery in the 1930s, several of which were used in newspaper advertisements from the 1940s into the 1970s. The first, with a bit of artistic license, is a winding avenue on the grounds with
A view of Riverview Cemetery
for newspaper advertisements
by George A. Bradshaw,
ca.1935
monuments among the trees, and the second is a tranquil setting against the Delaware River in the background. The latter could be readily incorporated with text in a display advertisement.

Frank Applegate, George Bradshaw and the School of Industrial Arts, an exhibition at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie in Cadwalader Park, opened October 6 and continues through February 9, 2014. In addition to the works of Bradshaw, ceramic sculpture by Frank S. Applegate (1882-1931), and paintings by Frank Forest Frederick (1866-1942) and Henry Ryan MacGinnis (1875–1962), each of whom were likewise associated with the school, are also on display.

Of note, 65 of Bradshaw's etchings are in the permanent collection of Thomas Edison State College at the Kelsey Building on the corner of West State and Barracks streets, once occupied by the School of Industrial Arts.

The drawings are from the historical collections of Riverview Cemetery.

1 comment :

  1. I've always wondered about George A Bradshaw as I own an etching made by him that had originally belonged to my mom and it came to me when she passed away. On the back it says 'street scene in Gloucester, Cape Anne - by George A Bradshaw'

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