Monday, December 24, 2012

Artist Spotlight: Thomas Nast

Thomas Nast (September 27, 1840 – December 7, 1902) was an editorial cartoonist who is considered to be the "Father of the American Cartoon". He's credited with creating the Republican Elephant, popularizing the Democratic Donkey and Uncle Sam, and most importantly creating the modern image of Santa Claus. From 1863 to 1886, Nast drew Santa annually for Harper's Weekly, basing his design on Clement Moore's description of the jolly old elf from his poem "A Visit From Saint Nicholas," which would later be known as "The Night Before Christmas." Nast's Santa was a supporter of Lincoln and the Union armies during the Civil War and was often depicted wearing the colors of the American Flag. Beyond the wartime appearances, Nast is credited for some very well know attributes of the Santa lore including his North Pole home, children writing to Santa, the naughty and nice list, and his red and white suit.


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