A Groundbreaking Woman
Yesterday, New Yorker cartoonist Helen Hokinson was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Society of Illustrators in New York City. My husband, cartoonist Michael Maslin, and I attended the lively celebration along with many wonderful artists we know. Michael wrote about it here, in his blog Inkspill.
Since she had no living relatives, the Society of Illustrators asked if I would accept the award for her, and of course I said yes. It was a great honor.
I have written about Ms. Hokinson over the years, in my book and in essays for The New Yorker and elsewhere. She was a wonderful artist, and a groundbreaker, starting in the magazine in 1925 as one of very few women.
Here below is the lucite award, placed in front of one of her drawings (an illustration done at the NY Public Library for The New Yorker) that we own.
It really was an incredible honor, the Society of Illustrators, also known as the Museum of Illustration, was founded in 1901 and has a long storied history of artists and illustrators as members, including Norman Rockwell and NC Wyeth. It is the oldest museum in the country dedicated to the art of illustration. Below are the remarks I made last night as I accepted the award on her behalf. There was a catalogue for the evening that contained an essay I wrote about her, which gives more history, so I decided my remarks should be more personal observation.