I thought we should go back and see what Gunther meant when he said “I remember another book that Street was involved with. It was a book by a guy named ‘Hows’; but Street wrote all the poems for that book. It also was illustrated with woodcut prints.”
I should have titled this “Hows & Friends”
Alfred Billings Street added the poems that matched Hows’ illustrations.
Bobbett & Hooper engraved Hows’ illustrations into wood for printing purposes.
The “Bobbett & Hooper” is not a shortcut for Bobbett and Hooper.
That appears to be where history left them; as the team of “Bobbett & Hooper.”
All mention of them ties them together that way.
Now that the introductions are out of the way – – – let us look at the men.
John Augustus Hows was the son of a professor. John lived in New York City his whole life. He was able to travel and visited these Adirondack Mountains and all of the mountains between there and New Hampshire. I have learned that he was a studious young man.
It seems to me that he seemed to change major directions from time to time.
If I remember correctly he studied for the Episcopalian ministry but then changed to become a Catholic layman.
Other changes were in the area of professions.
It appears that John Augustus Hows received his arts degree from Columbia University in 1852.
However, right after that he studied for the ministry. Apparently he was not too pleased with that line of work either. He studied with an office of law but that also didn’t seem to please him. He tried his hand at painting, wood engraving and illustrating.
That appeared to be his calling.
He specialized in sketching and illustrated several books between the 1860’s and the 1870’s.
Hows exhibited at the National Academy of Design from 1861 to 1873. He also exhibited at the Brooklyn Art Association in the late-1860’s. He was an Associate of the National Academy.
John left this earth earlier than most; 1831 – 1874.
But not before he, as an artist, and Alfred Street, as a poet, and two engravers, Bobbett & Hooper, assembled a book about the Adirondack Mountains.
There appears to be little mention of Alfred Billings Street on what we call “history”, yet there is just enough for our efforts.
We can see that he was well accepted by a variety of people and organizations.
He wrote poetry that appeared in several literary magazines and was the New York State Librarian.
Bobbett & Hooper seemed to team up on a variety of books; both adult and children’s.
One of those books is “Christmas in Art and Song.”
This book places the artwork of John Augustus Hows, and the engraving of Bobbett & Hooper” in good company; Raphael, Rubens, Nast and Grandville to drop a few names.
Below is the title page of “Christmas in Art and Song.” It has nothing to do with our conversation – – – other than John Augustus Hows’ name is listed.
My main reason for showing it is – – – well – – – I just like it!
One other gentleman’s etchings/engravings do not appear in “Forest Pictures of the Adirondacks.”
However his works do appear in the above book and several other illustrated Adirondack books. His name is Nathaniel Orr.
Orr also does fine work. But he does not belong in this conversation either; other than as an honorable mention.
Back to Bobbett;
There is not much more I can add to Bobbett. And nothing whatsoever that I can find on Hooper. That is a shame. And there you have the four artists who gave us “Forest Pictures in the Adirondacks.” I may share a few pages with you over the next week or five.
In the meantime I hope you enjoy this.