Thursday

Jarvis Hanks (Jervis Hanks) Silhouette Artist


Jarvis F. Hanks was born in upstate New York in 1799. He served in the War of 1812 as a drummer boy. His experience during the war can be found on the internet; it is good reading. In addition, his autobiography is also on the net. Although he is listed as having cut or painted silhouettes, I have never seen his work. Illustrated is a newspaper ad from 1834 "New York Transcript Daily" (author's collection).

Jarvis Hanks is not the same fellow as Master Hankes. Although Master Hankes is listed as a British silhouettist working here in America, I believe he was an American. He may have originally spelled his name "Hanks" but the promoter added an "e" to make the name appear as though he was British. There is no question that he worked in British style busts, almost an exact copy of that of Hubard's style. There is no question in my mind that Hankes was trained to work in that particular style.

Remember the British invasion of the 1960s? American bands imitated the sounds and the looks of the British bands. I believe this was what happpened to Master Hankes. The promoter did a fine job with him.

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