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John Francis Holme Drawings

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Holme

Scope and Content of the Collection

The collection consists of fifteen humorous pen-and-ink drawings of various types of people by John Francis Holme, done in the style of linoleum prints. Cover sheets indicate these were done in 1901 for New York publisher R.H. Russell, apparently to illustrate newspaper columns of George Ade. Also a pamphlet, "The Bandar Log Press, Incorporated" which lists its officers, directors and stockholders.


  • Creation: 1901-1902



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

John Francis Holme Drawings are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 5 folders at a time maximum (Priority II).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The John Francis Holme Drawings are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Biography of John Francis Holme

Newspaper artist and printer of books.

Born in 1868, John Francis (Frank) Holme grew up in West Virginia, and when a young man worked as a reporter and artist for the Wheeling, West Virginia Register. After two years with the Pittsburgh Press, where possibly his first outstanding illustrations were for the coverage of the Johnstown flood in 1889, Holme moved to Chicago. Here he worked as an illustrator for several newspapers, including the Chicago Post, the Chicago Chronicle and the Daily News.

Holme was known as a rapid, tireless newspaper artist, working at lightning speed in the courtroom, at a crime scene or wherever the action was. He became interested in many methods of illustration, experimenting with chalk-plate, copper-plate etching, dry-point, photo-engravings from pen-and-ink drawings, and greased crayon. Between 1895 and 1900, he founded The School of Illustration in Chicago and the Palette and Chisel Club, held three exhibitions at the Art Institute with John T. McCutcheon and William W. Schmedtjen, and wrote twelve books of instruction for a mail-order course in illustration. But Holme is probably best remembered for establishing a small press called the Bandar Log Press.

The first book from the Bandar Log Press was printed in Holme's home in Chicago in 1895, and was entitled Just For Fun. When Holme fell victim to tuberculosis, he and the Press moved to Asheville, North Carolina in 1901, where the second Bandar Log book, Swanson, Able Seaman was printed. The next year, seeking a better climate for his illness, Holme and the Press moved to Arizona, near Phoenix, and here a small series of booklets entitled Strenuous Lad's Library was produced. These tales, written by George Ade, were illustrated by Frank Holme with woodcuts in the style of an earlier vintage. Meanwhile, friends of his, in order to raise funds to help in his recovery, incorporated the Bandar Log Press at $25 a share. The stay in Arizona did not improve Holme's health, so he moved to a cooler Denver, where he died a few months later in July, 1904.

Frank Holme was survived by his wife, Ida Van Dyke of London, England and Grimsby, Ontario, whom he had married in 1893.


0.2 Linear Feet (1 box)


Fifteen pen-and-ink drawings by illustrator and printer Frank Holme and a printed list of the officers and stockholders of the Bandar Log Press, established by Holme.


Arranged chronologically and by type of material.

Collection Stack Location

1 22 4


Gift of Evelyn McCutcheon (Mrs. John T. McCutcheon), 1973.

Processed by

Virginia H. Smith, 2004.

Inventory of the John Francis Holme Drawings, 1901-1902
Virginia H. Smith
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States